September 25, 2006
ICIS Chemical Business Americas - Update
I am glad to see Randy Reichardt at the University of Alberta got a little further with a response towards why the publication (Chemical Market Reporter) was drastically changed with no feedback or warning to academia. I only received a standard response from several people at ICIS that basically already told me the obvious - "we are only covering about 100 prices and focusing more on news". I made it clear to ICIS that the strength, and what made them unique to academic libraries, was that they covered such a large amount of chemical prices. The current price coverage was much weaker than they were promoting and probably of minimal value for engineering students. Chemical industry news had many publications and organizations that focused in this realm and they were leaving a niche market (chemical prices) that academia relied heavily on CMR for.
Randy Reichardt received another response from Penny Wilson, ICIS Global Editorial Director, that reaffirmed a commitment to students. I hope this statement is not just an attempt to keep current subscribers. Their past efforts have not shown that students were considered much in their decisions, or they did not truely understand their subscibers or future subscriber needs. I am hoping it is the later, and they just did not understand how much academia needed chemical prices before they dropped the prices from the print CMR, rigged together a clunky online access with no IP recognition, and finally slashed hundreds of prices from their inventory.