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Re: Elsevier Web Editions license

I suppose it is genetic as Ken Slagle says. He also is a human being and
wants to be paid by NMSU. If NMSU decided to pay him less on the grounds
that in the electronic environment researchers could reach content without
his help, maybe he would be unhappy. Maybe he would be unhappy if those who
actually run NMSU lost money through not acting in a businesslike way and
the university closed down

The businessmen (and businesswomen) who run publishing companies (many of
them non-profits) face a whole range of difficulties in the economic
environment. They want to maintain their profits (or surpluses). The
nightmare for publishers is that networking in the end results in only one
copy only of a publication being sold - the obverse of a librarian's
nightmare that all content their users need is locked up by one publisher.
These are nightmares of course.

Lloyd Davidson explains one aspect of the problem that publishers have.
Multi-site universities present a problem if there are libraries on each
site and they get together and decide they only want to buy one subscription
with electronic access throughout the university. Organisations like the
AAAS have problems because they fear that they will lose their academic
members if these members can get electronic access to full content through
their universities

The great majority of librarians do recognise that publishers do have a role
to play, that there is a publishing function. ARL do with SPARC. They also
recognise that payment is necessary to support this role/function.

What publishers have to do is regard the problem as a challenge and work
with libraries to find an equitable solution. Fortunately, as liblicense
shows if you look at the files, an amazing amount of progress has been made
on licensing and an equal amount of goodwill has made this possible. Ros
knows very well that in the UK the PA/JISC licences have brought both
publishers and librarians together to deal jointly with these sort of

As an ex-publisher, I am very pleased indeed that Ken Slagle has not been
able to stop this sort of progress - or maybe he was just making a joke.

Anthony Watkinson

----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Slagle <keslagle@lib.NMSU.Edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2000 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: Elsevier Web Editions license

> It is not that publishers do not appreciate how electronic information is
> used. They simply do not want to interrupt the flow of money from the
> library's pocket to their's. As long as we try to find logic in the
> behavior of businessmen and attempt to be 'nice' about this, they will
> always attempt to take advantage of us. It is genetic.
> Kennith Slagle
> Head of Collection Services
> University Library
> New Mexico State University
> Box 30006/Dept. 3475
> Las Cruces, NM  88003-8006
> Phone: 505-646-4228
> FAX:   505-646-7477
> Email: keslagle@lib.NMSU.edu