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Speaking personally, I would regard the ACS position to be satisfactory as
a practical matter in their specific case, primarily because of the
relative reasonableness of their charges.

A library that can afford the journals in the first place should be able
to afford the extra for the backfiles. This is especially true considering
the additional years of material in these files, and that in many areas of
chemistry earlier years retain a very extended usefulness compared with
some other sciences.

It is important to maintain the principle that with electronic, just as
with paper, content once purchased remains purchased, and that we are
buying, not leasing. I believe the alternative arrangements in their
policy for those who want to merely maintain access to the particular
years they have purchased are relatively acceptable, depending on their
interpretation of a "reasonable" fee.

Continuing the many unresolved problems elsewhere, ACS has done well in
this case. Now, if they would be similarly reasonable about unlimited
campus-wide access rather than per-user pricing for SciFinder Scholar...

Dr. David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Sciences Bibliographer
Princeton University Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-7785