[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: quality of Service

David Goodman makes an effective and heartfelt point about the break in
availability of some of OUP's full-text online journals. So I thought a
few words might be in order about:-

* The background to the recent events at one of OUP's online journal
hosting facilities, at Manchester University, UK

* What we are doing now to remedy the immediate problem, and what we are
doing over the next few months to ensure that such a situation never

Anthony Watkinson makes an interesting point about what constitutes "force
majeure" in a situation such as we have just experienced. Was it
reasonable for us to believe that it would not be possible for the
security at our host's premises to be so effectively breached that
intruders would have the time and opportunity to completely strip out
every vital component of our e-journals hardware without being
apprehended?  Was it reasonable to expect that, even in such an unlikely
scenario, replacement with externally sourced new equipment would be such
a difficult and time-consuming task?

Whether we see, in these circumstances, an example of "force majeure" or
whether David Goodman's rather harsher assessment should be accepted, I
will leave for others to conclude. In the meantime, for those who are as
anxious as we are to see the return of those OUP online journals which
have been affected by the Manchester service interruption, here is a
summary of the immediate steps we have taken to restore service and the
medium term actions which we are taking to ensure that there can be no
repetition of recent events:-

1. We have successfully sourced all the necessary replacement parts, and
staff at Manchester, along with colleagues at OUP, are now working
non-stop to put all the hardware together, test it and link it up to the
data. If all goes to plan, full-text of the affected journals will start
to reappear on our web site later this afternoon.

2. Throughout this episode, the full-text of our scientific and medical
journals hosted at HighWire has remained accessible and unaffected by the
problems at Manchester. HighWire journal text is already supported by
immediately accessible back-up facilities, plus additional mirror archives
in the UK. From 2001, the remaining OUP journals, currently hosted at
Manchester, will move to a new UK-based host with global mirroring
facilities, and an additional separate back-up site will be retained at
Manchester.  A recurrence of the unfortunate recent events should not be
possible under this arrangement.

Richard Gedye

Richard Gedye
Journals Sales and Marketing Director
Oxford University Press
Great Clarendon Street
Oxford OX2 6DP

Tel: +44 1865 267785 (direct)
Fax: +44 1865 267835
Email: gedyer@oup.co.uk
WWW: http://www.oup.co.uk/

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Anthony Watkinson [SMTP:anthony.watkinson@btinternet.com]
> Sent:	Tuesday, September 05, 2000 12:07 AM
> To:	liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject:	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