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Perpetual access

Do I sense that the Perpetual Access topic on Liblicense may be coming to an
end of at least its current phase? If that proves to be the case, can I
thank the Moderators and those who have contributed for a very valuable
discussion. While there has been discussion before about the importance of
archiving electronic publications from a preservation angle, the Liblicense
discussion brought out other access issues which I do not remember being
explored before. I and other librarians have glibly spoken to publishers
about the importance of continued access to electronic publications we have
paid for, but the Liblicense discussion made me realise that we need to move
beyond that question of principle to work out how continued access is best
achieved. That is partly a licensing issue, so I hope the Moderators will
continue to allow contributions on that aspect, but the discussion shows
that there are a whole range of other questions to which we have to find
answers (and by "we" I mean librarians and publishers together). On the
technical aspects, for example, perhaps the discussion has to be continued
between particular publishing groups and particular library consortia,
because much may depend on local capability. I think we are all feeling our
way, not only on finding the answers to a lot of questions, but also on the
fora in which to debate the possible answers. Liblicense has given us an
excellent start.

Fred Friend  

Frederick J. Friend, Librarian, University College London,
Gower Street, London, England WC1E 6BT.
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