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Re: Nature Journals: User Name and Password (Super ID Access)

A year ago, the publishers of Nature attempted to offer a library license
which permitted institutional electronic access to only the research
articles in the the second part of the journal, but not to the news and
review coverage in the first half.

Nature is a weekly journal; its importance is not only due to the
excellence of the primary scholarly scientific articles it publishes, but
the extraordinary quality of the commentary and news coverage. This part
of Nature is the unique attribute of the journal, and is what most
scientists would consider the measure of scientific literacy. The
pertinence and depth of Nature's content is the reason why people read the
journal. As one could expect, the attempt to provide libraries with paid
electronic access to Nature except for its unique and most valuable part
did not meet with success, and I think that essentially no library

This year the publishers are offering libraries what they appear to
consider a more liberal version. It does provide access to the news and
commentaries, but only after a three month delay. News articles are not
improved by a three month delay, and the publishers seem to have a naive
faith in the unwillingness of libraries to examine what they buy.

Personal subscriptions to the journal include the full electronic content.
Presumably the motive of the publisher are an unwillingness to risk a
decrease in individual subscriptions. I have spoken to a number of
individuals who have personal subscriptions; they all subscribe because of
the desirability of receiving their own print copy of this excellent
journal, even though the library also receives it in print, and would
continue to subscribe even though the library also receives the entire
journal electronically. This I believe, has been the experience of other

This university library has never paid for a subscription to part of a
journal in electronic form when the whole journal was available in print.
Neither has it ever paid for a subscription to the electronic version of a
publication where the appearance of the electronic content was delayed
behind the print, nor where the material the library received was less
than what personal subscribers received.  Why would we? The advantages of
an electronic journal is the more rapid delivery and campus-wide
availability of the content.  Our selectors have considered this offer,
and regard the nature of this offer as reinforcing our commitment to our
present policy. We most certainly will not subscribe. We cannot imagine
why any library would.

This posting represents my personal interpretation, except that the
decision not to subscribe, and the reasons for it, are shared unanimously
by all the relevant selectors here. :

Institutions wrote:
> The Nature Publishing Group has launched its institutional site licenses for
> our Nature titles: Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Cell Biology, Nature
> Genetics, Nature Immunology, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Nature
> Structural Biology, and coming in October, three new review titles Nature
> Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, and Nature
> Reviews Genetics.
. All of the information on site licenses including ordering can be
> found at: <http://www.nature.com/help/sitelicenses>
                                    Nature Online:

                                    The Americas
 Summary of Site Licence: Academic Libraries, Colleges and Universities 

                                    Included in the Licence:

For the Nature site licence, the Nature Publishing Group offers online
access to the Articles, Letters to Nature, Brief Communications,
Scientific Correspondence, as well as material available to registered
users on the Nature Website, including: 

naturejobs, Nature Science Update, Nature Table of Contents, Nature
Feature of the Week, Nature Web Matters, Nature Debates, Nature Software
Reviews, Nature World Conference on Science, Nature Supplementary
Information, Nature International Grants Finder, and finally archives of
this material through June 1997.

Licensed institutions shall have immediate access to the peer-reviewed
material on the date of publication as well as full functionality
including searchability, the ability to view and download articles from
the archives, etc. From time to time access may be granted to any
additional material that the licensor makes available to the licensee.

The entire content is available after a 12 issue delay from January 2001.
This includes: Opinion, News, Correspondence, Commentary, Book Reviews,
Features, Special Essays (e.g. Millennium Essay), News & Views, News in
Brief, Reviews, Daedelus, 50 Years Ago, 100 Years Ago, Obituary, Art &
Science, Autumn Books, Briefing, Careers and Recruitment, Film Review,
News Analysis, New Journals, New on the Market, News Profile, News & Views
Feature, Progress, Review Article, Spring Books, Technology and Techniques
& Technology. One copy of the print journal Nature is provided as part of
the Nature Online licence.

> You are a valuable customer to us and we look forward to a continued working
> relationship.
> Customer Support
> institutions@natureny.com

Dr. David Goodman 
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library 
dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627