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Re: Long Term Availability

Librarians can ask all they like. We can even have things written into our
licenses. But will these answers and contract terms help if a publisher is
bought out by another publisher, goes belly up, or decides that the cost
of refreshing the material is not beneficial given the half dozen (or
less) times a year that the material is accessed/purchased/ whatever? Even
if the publisher is sued for breaking the contract, it might still be
financially worthwhile to do so. 

Things that look feasible/likely over the next decade take on a different
hue when given a perspective of one hundred years. Or what about five
hundred years. In astronomy, observations that old are still useful! 

AAS is to be commended for its efforts and attitudes. But noone can
guarantee the future. Our best hope is to assess our risks and provide for
many possible scenarios. After all, even books have been burnt. 

     *  Marlene Cummins                *
     *  U of Toronto Astronomy Library *
     *      *
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