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Re: Chemistry Journal License

A few months ago we evaluated similar issues. We received an offer from 
Academic Press for free web access to AP titles the library currently 
receives in print. The terms of the licence agreement turned out to be 
major stumbling blocks, especially the 'unusual' copyright and access 

After learning that another health sciences library had successfully 
pursued changes and amendments of the original licence, we decided to 
request changes that would bring the 'user rights' for online journals 
in line with those for print subscriptions. These were in short 
our requests for amendments:



"Interlibrary lending of articles from JMB Online shall be governed by 
the rules of fair use as stated in the 1976 Copyright Act, Section 


Rationale and Explanation

a.  This is a question of equivalent user rights: We feel that usage 
rights should not differ depending on format and access method.

Interlibrary lending within the framework of the above legislation is a
key service of libraries, particularly of academic research libraries. If
a particular version of a journal is not available for interlibrary
lending at all it would have a potentially debilitating effect on
interlibrary loan services. Library users would have to be made aware of
the impact of such restrictions and would have to be educated on the
limitations of the electronic version vis-a-vis the print version

b. The fair use rules of the 1976 Copyright Act provide a reasonable,
practical, and widely accepted framework that sanctions interlibrary
lending as a legitimate library activity while limiting the scope of this
activity in order to ensure that interlibrary lending does not become a
substitute for a subscription. 

The Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries adhere to the fair use rules by
recording interlibrary loan activity, and by making payments to Copyright
Clearancehouse vendor, e.g. Carl Uncover, UMI, etc, if more than five
interlibrary loan requests are made for the same title. The interlibrary
loan statistics are also a key factor in making decisions on additional
titles/subscriptions to be purchased since they reflect a quantifiable

   Access to online journals inside the library should not be restricted,
   i.e. anyone in the library may access the online journal from a public
   workstation. (In response, the publisher pointed to a revised license 
   which included such a provision)

3. Further, we are concerned about the wording in the paragraphs dealing
   with copyright and unautorized use. Although some provisions may at 
   this time lack the specificity to be enforcable, there is a clear 
   intent to put the subscribing library under obligation to play a
   larger role in enforcing copyright.

In the meantime, AP reject our proposed amendment re. interlibrary 
lending and we have -in conjunction with the Faculty Library Committee- 
decided to proceed this way:

1. We are going to 'accept' the license for the AP journals 'Journal of 
Molecular Biology' and 'Genomics' but at the bottom of the license we are 
adding a statement which emphasizes that we do not consider the online 
version an equivalent or a replacement option of the print journal as 
long as the user rights of the online version are as restrictive as 
they are defined in the license.  

2. The library and the Faculty Library Committee are making an effort to
educate users about online journals, especially about pricing, licensing,
and access issues. At the same time users are encouraged to try out the
electronic versions and provide feedback. 

We are aware that our approach is very ambivalent: We are accepting the 
license for free electronic versions of print titles while declaring at 
the same time that we find some of the license terms unacceptable.

Obviously, many aspects of electronic journal licensing, pricing, etc. 
are still well short of any standardization. If libraries share their 
experiences and concerns openly, we may have a greater say in any 
developing licensing terms.

We certainly benefitted from information we received from other libraries 
which had dealt with similar issues. I'm particularly grateful to Allison 
Bunting from the UCLA L.Darling Health Sciences Library for sharing 
electronic licensing information.


				Alfred B. Kraemer
				Head of Technical Services
				Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries
				8701 Watertown Plank Road
				Milwaukee, WI 53226
				(414) 456-4273
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