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Re: InfoTrac� College Edition

Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 19:34:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Donnelyn Curtis <dcurtis@unr.edu>
To: consort@ohiolink.edu, liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: [iso-8859-1] InfoTrac� College Edition

I was asked to write a literature review section and an appendix on
"Library and World Wide Web Resources" for a textbook on social work
research methods that was published by Brooks/Cole, apparently an imprint
of Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. When I got my copy, there was a card inside
with a password for a 4-month subscription to InfoTrac College Edition,
"The Online Library." At the time I just thought I had probably wasted a
bunch of time, since who would bother to read what I had written about
library resources if they were instructed to use the textbook's online
library? At the end of each chapter there are InfoTrac exercises: "Search
for 'positivism' and examine how the articles refer to and use this term."

Now that Chuck has asked the question about license terms, I logged in
with my password. The registration form has a click-through license with
the kind of terms you'd expect (abbreviated here) --

1. Gale has the right to "modify any aspect of the Service" and "may
discontinue the Service without prior notice."

2. the right to use the service is not transferable

3. "Member agrees to indemnify and hold Gale Group harmless ..."

4. member is responsible for equipment & services necessary to access the

5. Gale provides no warranties, this is an "as is" Service (this paragraph
is in upper case)

6. members may use copyrighted materials only for their own use

7. the agreement is governed by the laws of Massachusetts

8. [not sure about this one] something about contractors authorized to
make the service available ... see below * for entire paragraph

9. [not sure about this, either ... ] more about no warranties for
internet performance. This sentence is interesting: "Member acknowledges
that safeguards relative to copyright, ownership, decency, reliability and
integrity of content may be entirely lacking with respect to the Internet
and content accessible through it. Member assumes all risk and liability

I'm not sure how #9 relates to an article database. At first I thought
that this version of InfoTrac might provide access to web pages, but I
didn't find that to be the case.

I've saved the entire agreement in case anyone wants a copy.

It looks like a pretty robust full-text article database. It might be the
same as Expanded Academic Index. I haven't seen the Infotrac interface
lately, but this one has a choice of Subject Guide or Keyword searching in
EasyTrac, and also has PowerTrac. "InfoTrac College Edition has 11,377,952
articles" it says.

I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing. Students aren't having to
pay for something the library already pays for, textbooks are expensive
whether or not they include InfoTrac access, though it might be
problematic to buy a used textbook if the first owner already used up the
password. Many students will never understand about library resources, and
at least this way they get some kind of introduction to scholarly
information resources and search protocols beyond Yahoo. It could give
librarians another hook when explaining library-provided databases. Also,
not every library is able to provide much in the way of databases.

It does seem important for librarians to understand the whole information
universe out there. It's no longer as simple as it was, with the library
providing the only gateway to legitimate information resources. When
textbook publishers and journal publishers and courseware providers and
database providers are parts of one company, it is only logical that the
library will be left out of some of the self-contained packages made
available to students. Sometimes it's deliberate, for business reasons,
and sometimes it's just expedient. There are authentication problems to be
solved before proprietary library resources can be integrated with
courseware, for example.

One role for librarians is to make sure that our universities aren't
paying for the same content more than once. And when companies like
Questia market directly to students, the library has to do its own
marketing. But even then, some students will be willing to pay for
convenience if the library's resources are difficult to access or use.

I had to provide my e-mail address when I registered to use my InfoTrac
password. If Gale now tries to sell something to me as an individual I'll
let you know.

Donnie Curtis
Director of Research Services
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

* 8. Notwithstanding any acknowledgment of a Member purchase order by Gale
Group, any provision or condition in any purchase order, voucher, or other
memorandum of the Member which is in any way inconsistent with, or adds
to, the provisions of this Service Agreement is null and void. Neither the
course of conduct between parties nor trade practice shall act to modify
the provisions of this Service Agreement. Gale Group may authorize or
allow its contractors and other third parties to provide to Gale Group
and/or to Member services necessary or related to making the Service
available and to perform obligations and exercise rights of Gale Group
under this Service Agreement, and may collect payment on their behalf, if
applicable. If any provision of this Service Agreement is determined to be
invalid, all other provisions shall remain in full force and effect. The
provisions of paragraphs 3, 7 and 9 and all obligations of and
restrictions on Member shall survive any termination of this Agreement.

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 18:48:11 EDT
> From: "Hamaker, Chuck" <cahamake@email.uncc.edu>
> To: "Liblicense-L (E-mail)" <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
> Subject: InfoTrac� College Edition
> Wadsworth, a publisher owned by Thomson, is offering CD roms with some
> textbooks and access to something called InfoTrac� College Edition . Has
> anyone run into this before? Do we know anything about license conditions?
> Is it just duplicating what many library's are already providing?  or is
> it different or unique from the normal InfoTrac online offerings? Is it
> more "academic" etc.
> An example: the textbook-
> Criminal Justice in America: Media Edition (with InfoTrac), Third Edition
> by George F. Cole, University of Connecticut and Christopher E. Smith,
> Michigan State University
> ISBN: 0-534-55901-8 � 2002 472 pages. Paperbound. 8 1/2 x 11.  Non-InfoTrac
> Version ISBN 0-534-55916-6
> The splash page for Infotrac college ed. says "research has never been so
> easy". and mentions hundreds of academic journals. and then there's this
> blurb:
> "The latest news and research articles online, updated daily and spanning
> four years! InfoTrac� College Edition is automatically packaged with every
> new student copy of this text. You and your students will have 4-months of
> free access to an easy-to-use online database of reliable, full-length
> articles (not abstracts) from hundreds of top academic journals and
> popular sources. Contact your Wadsworth/Thomson Learning representative or
> more information. Available to North American college and university
> students only. Journals subject to change."
> Jaw popping sound--
> Chuck