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Science electronically

For those who have been searching for a "cheaper" e-version of Science
that one can access across an institution, let us not forget the version
of Science provided via the OVID interface.

Yes, there are negatives.  There is content that is not part of the OVID
Science: News & Comment, Research News, Departments (Editorials, Letters,
Book Reviews).  There is a 10-day embargo on articles which is a
stipulation of AAAS. (This is nowhere near as severe as the 90 day embargo
required by Nature.)

To offset those negatives, we have two things.  (1) Perpetual ownership -
As with print journals, your purchase entitles you to own and archive the
content. (2) Price.  The Journals@OVID price for 1 SU to Science is $600
(*whether or not* you own the print) and each additional SU is $125.  
(All prices subject to confirmation with OVID of course; the info comes
from Nov 1998.)

Yes, we may like or dislike the alternatives we are presented with by
AAAS, but at least they have made the effort to provide us with three
choices (unlike some other society publishers I could mention).

--We can pay for a few workstations at a fairly cheap price and deal with
the administrative headaches of having unique resources on those
workstations, and not having "anywhere" access.

--We can pay a (relatively) hefty fee to have site-wide access without any
guarantees of future accessibility.

--We can pay about double the cost of a print-subscription to access a
slightly incomplete, slightly less current version of Science, which we
then have permission to access forever (if we can figure out how to
maintain forever.)

None of these options are perfect for institutions.  Maybe someday AAAS
will feel their way to a better solution.  I for one am happy that they
are listening to us, and willing to experiment with different access

--Kimberly Parker

P.S.  (For those of you with eagle eyes, I oversimplified the OVID pricing
above, since I did not include the cost of SU access to the OVID server.
For those already with remote access OVID SUs, you may be able to slip
Science in without upping your SU total.  For those without remote access
to the OVID server, be forewarned, the SUs can be expensive!)

Kimberly Parker
Electronic Publishing and Collections Librarian
Yale University Library
130 Wall Street              Voice (203) 432-0067
P.O. Box 208240              Fax (203) 432-8527
New Haven, CT  06520-8240    mailto:kimberly.parker@yale.edu