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FYI from the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Ann Okerson

---------- Forwarded message ----------

A bill now pending before the U.S. House of Representatives could force
the U.S. Department of Energy to end PubScience, its Web database that
allows scientists to search abstracts and citations from more than a
thousand scientific journals. The database, which operates on an annual
budget of approximately $500,000, is the most popular of the Energy
Department's online offerings, with roughly 1 million searches executed
per year. However, a report associated with the department's
appropriations bill for 2002 questions whether the database is
appropriate, noting that several private-sector firms provide similar
services. Several firms, including Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and Reed
Elsevier, lobbied the Software & Information Industry Association to exert
its influence and recommend the elimination of the database in the report.
However, Stephen Miles Sacks, who publishes the journal "Scipolicy," said
that some of the publications that the department's database makes
available are ignored by private-sector firms. He added that few
scientists could afford the fees these firms would charge if they did
create a similar database. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 2 July