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EB online

Not sure this is the right issue for this list but let's give it a shot. 

We noticed in a recent promotional email communication from Encyclopedia
Britannica a promotional statement that the academic community of users on
a campus with EB online have home access to EB online available to them.
We had been unaware that this was a component of our access to EB online
so we contacted them. We learned that to offer home access EB requires
that the library or campus have a secure server which would provide
authentication of users, via a student ID for example, so that only
registered users would be allowed in. I'm sure there are some schools that
have such servers, but I think our campus is more typical -- we don't have
such authentication.

We pursued the conversation with EB a bit suggesting that they provide
some sort of password-based access. No deal. The message we got was a
concern that any such account/password would surely appear posted on a web
page the next day for all to see and use -- nothing doing.

We are wondering how to respond and if to pursue this with EB. We'd very
much like to offer our campus home access for obvious reasons. We also
have this notion that if EB includes such permission, we are paying for it
and we should be able to offer it. We feel like EB's requirement of a
secure sever isn't reasonable and while their security concerns are
certainly valid, there are other reasonable solutions. For example, we
offer home access to our EbscoHost full text databases on the basis of
ID/password. To my knowledge, we've had no abuses but if we do, we will
immediately change things and see if we can identify the source of the

I know many libraries have licensed EB online; I'd be curious to know if
others are offering home access to and reactions to our perspective on the


David Carlson, Director of Libraries
Bridgewater State College
Bridgewater, MA  02325
E: dcarlson@bridgew.edu
V:  508/697-1256
Fax:  508/697-1349