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Summary: NEJM patron notification (long)

Some libraries or users decided to create a web page while others sent out
emails to their staff.  Here are some examples.  Let me know if you have
any question or want more information.


1. http://www.uab.edu/lister/nejmchange.htm 

2. NEJM -End to Direct Online Access

Notice Received From the Publisher: " Users at your institution now access
NEJM Online by means of a single username and password. After October 1,
online access will be controlled by IP address (limit 5 workstations). No
wildcards (*), IP ranges, or proxy servers are permitted."  This
announcement created a firestorm of discussion and protest on library
listservs. Limiting access to specific on-campus workstations destroys one
of e-journals greatest strengths, namely delivery to the desktop
regardless of location. "No proxy servers" means the end of the remote
access that our users expect.  Like many other academic institutions, we
cannot exercise the poor substitute of access from defined workstations as
our network generates dynamic IP addresses. Also, we cannot funnel
requests thru our single IP proxy server as that would violate the
license. What a loss!  Several years ago, there was a similar situation
with the American Society for Microbiology. The ASM institutional license
restricted access to specific buildings and defined IP addresses. As David
Goodman, Digital Resources Researcher at Princeton, noted, "Very few
libraries subscribed, very many users complained, the editors were
outraged at the loss of access to their journals, and the society
eventually changed its policy."  The Journal is concerned about print
cancellations. Kent Anderson, NEJM Publishing Director, responded, "the
5-IP model was chosen as a moderate alternative for the time being. We are
evaluating our options for direct site licensing at academic
institutions."  Let s hope they come up with a reasonable alternative for
distributed access. PCOM NEJM readers can voice their concerns via the
Contact Us option at NEJM.  As alternative access, readers can search for
NEJM articles online via Journals@OVID Caveat: most recent issue(s) not
available. Also, at the request of the publisher, OVID has removed all
links to PDF articles. The SGML format of full text is still available.

3. Officials of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently
announced an important change in the mode of electronic access to the
Journal from the publisher's website.  Starting in October, they will
allow access for only five (5) computers with fixed IP addresses (i.e.,
specific computers within the Library) for each print subscription.  
There is no option for an institution wide site license, nor will any
remote access outside the Library be available.  The Library receives two
print subscriptions, so we will have a total of ten computers from which
electronic access will be available at the Briscoe Library and the Brady
Green Library.

This is a significant change and NEJM readers should consider sending
their comments to NEJM.  No longer will UTHSCSA faculty, students, and
staff have access to UTHSCSA subscriptions to the publisher's website for
NEJM from their offices or homes.  Library and off-campus access to NEJM
will continue to be available through the Library's Ovid Online system;
however, access via Ovid is generally several weeks behind the publisher's

NEJM justifies the change due to abuse of their current password system
and concern about loss of revenue due to cancellations of individual print
subscriptions.  In response to immediate complaints from many librarians,
Kent Anderson, Publishing Director for NEJM, defended the change with the
following explanation:

The 2-username model was implemented years ago, at a time when it was
unclear how Internet access would evolve, especially at institutions. Our
guidelines were loose, and this led to widespread use (both on and off
campus) of the 2 usernames and passwords per print subscription. Usernames
and passwords were emailed to entire staffs, posted on intranets, and even
posted openly on the Internet. Over time, this type of access has become
quite prevalent, and clearly beyond the scope of a standard institutional

At the same time, both anecdotal and statistical evidence mounted showing
that subscription cancellation rates around academic institutions with
this type of access for NEJM was significantly higher than the norm.

NEJM readers may want to contact NEJM directly.  We suggest writing to
Kent Anderson, New England Journal of Medicine Publishing Director, 10
Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115-6094, or by email to kanderson@nejm.org.  
We hope that a cooperative agreement can be reached between NEJM and the
academic and hospital libraries that want institution-wide, IP-based
electronic access.

4. Text of possible sample letter:

Kent Anderson, Publishing Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
Publishing Division
Massachusetts Medical Society
860 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451-1413

This letter is to express my outrage at your decision to allow only five
individual workstations for an entire facility to access full-text
articles. Our facility houses thousands of faculty and researchers who
need to use this publication on a daily basis. Further, it is critical
that we be able to access your publication at the bedside when treating
patients. Your recent decision indicates your failure to understand either
your individual users, the libraries that serve them, or the environment
in which all operate.  As a teaching hospital we will be forced to
recommend that our students, residents, and fellows use JAMA and other
prominent publications that CAN be obtained electronically throughout the
campus. Further, as a faculty member who publishes regularly, it will no
longer be to my advantage to publish in The New England Journal of
Medicine, nor to the advantage of other faculty, residents, and fellows. I
will recommend to other faculty, residents, and students the cancellation
of their subscriptions to The New England Journal of Medicine. You are
doing a disservice to the entire medical community, and to the patients it
serves, through your short-sighted decision to so limit access. It is my
sincere hope that you reconsider this decision.

Michelle Kraft
Medical Librarian
Cleveland Clinic Foundation