I knew about how New York Times allows a limited number of pages/articles to be viewed if you are unsubscribe, but this might be new trend. In my opinion this is good marketing. If I saw a “subscribers only” notice when I clicked on a nytimes link my friend has shared on facebook that would certainly damage the reputation nytimes has in my mind. So what they basically do is allow limited access to users who clicked on the nytimes link from social network sites, search engines or even if you go to nytimes.com directly. I have to say this is a clever way to show the quality of your content and then require subscription in order to view the content freely. I saw this same method on a different kind of site today. I was searching for an article (not specific one) from google scholar on net neutrality. I clicked one of them and read the abstract. Then decided to read the full paper. Now usually what happens is, you need to have subscription in order to access the full document. Luckily my university provides access to most of the big databases. But the Berkley Electronic Press site offered a guest pass, which only required you to fill out a short form. And after that short form you could hit the download button. Below that download button was of course an optional “recommend to your library” button. I really like how this guest pass works. Other than providing a trial for potential subscribers, it also welcomes one time visitors and allows them to view the content.
Limited access to sites