Need a scholarly journal article, rent it

Wired Campus reports on DeepDyve, a company that deals in scholarly publishing with a Netflix-like rental model. It offers articles from traditional publishers as well as open access sources.  Open access articles can be viewed for free while individual “premium” articles (from traditional publishers) can be rented for 24 hour period.  Rental prices start at 99 cents. It’s important to note that articles cannot be printed or downloaded, only viewed on screen.

As with Netflix, monthly subscriptions are available: $9.99/20 articles OR $19.99/unlimited articles.


Some of the things I noticed while searching:

–It does not understand DOIs.  Plugging a DOI into the search box won’t find your article like CrossRef would. In some cases it would list the DOI in the citation, so I knew it was there, but finding it using the search was fruitless.

–The date of publication on some (maybe, all?) records pulled from Medline are wrong.  This could be a simple fix.  DeepDyve appears to be incorrectly using Medline’s DA field (date created) as the date of publication instead of using the DP field (date of publication).  Could make cause confusion for those who require accurate citations.

Here’s an example article that appears in both DeepDyve and Medline:

Frost, R., Hartl, T., Christian, R., & Williams, N. (1995). The value of possessions in compulsive hoarding: patterns of use and attachment. Behaviour Research And Therapy, 33(8), 897-902. (view publisher’s citation)

Deep Dyve’s record has the publication date as being December 6, 1995 while the Medline record has it as November 1995. Here’s part of the field view from Medline that shows where DeepDyve’s date originated:

PMID- 7487849
DA  – 19951206
DCOM- 19951206
VI  – 33
IP  – 8
DP  – 1995 Nov
TI  – The value of possessions in compulsive hoarding: patterns of use and attachment.
PG  – 897-902
SO  – Behav Res Ther. 1995 Nov;33(8):897-902.

–Speaking of citations, where are they? No nicely formatted APA or AMA citations here.  Most of the elements you’ll need will be there, just check the date (see above), or run it through CrossRef to verify. There is also a “Download from publisher” link that should take you to the publisher or source.

–The adjustable document viewer can switch quickly into fullscreen mode and offers zoom control. The big buttons to navigate from page to page are nice and easy to hit.

The service is listed as being in beta so expect kinks along the way.  Will be interested to see how it develops.