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Re: quality of Service

It looks as if CatchWord employees and their groupies have been quicker of
the mark than HighWire or ingenta. Good for them but can we now accept
that it is reasonable for libraries to expect publishers to have back-up
and also that most publishers and their contractors do. I am aware that
OUP work with a university based host and I am puzzled that the problem
that has occurred can be as simple as described. Is it just a matter of
theft of equipment in a situation where there was no back-up at all or has
the back-up failed in some way which could not have been anticipated? What
David Goodman says is reasonable though a little harsh. I wonder how many
of those university presses who have gone online in the US have foolproof
arrangements. I wonder if his patrons have always had exactly the service
they could expect.

Publishers should be willing and able to commit to continuous service but
there will always be a "force majeure" clause in any contract. Will
lurkers at OUP be able to tell us whether their supplier did not make
proper back-up arrangements or was it a "force majeure" situation where no
reasonable person (in legal terms) could have anticipated what went wrong.
The answer to the question might cause a lot of for-profits and
non-profits to look again at their own back-up arrangements or on the
other hand they might breathe a sigh of relief.

Anthony Watkinson
14, Park Street, Bladon, Woodstock,
Oxon, England OX20 1RW
phone +44 1993 811561 and fax 1993  810067

----- Original Message -----
From: John Cox <John.E.Cox@btinternet.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 11:27 PM
Subject: Re: quality of Service

> David Goodman makes a good point.  Many publishers - or their contractors
> do maintain mirror sites; built-in redundancy is vital to the maintenance
> of continuous and reliable service.
> Perhaps the best example I know of a company that has always taken this
> issue seriously is CatchWord, which hosts journals from many publishers,
> including Taylor & Francis, Mary Ann Liebert, Lawrence Erlbaum, MIT Press
> etc.  CatchWord has not one or two mirror sites, but a world-wide network
> of over ten servers.  This deals with the problem of slow response times
> due to Internet congestion as well as the failure of any one - or two,
> three etc - server.
> John Cox
> Johnn Cox Associates