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"Double" Licenses

On the subject of double licenses (which we do not have for the American
Astronomical Society journals), and speaking as a publisher, there are a
couple of issues.

One is that our readers (at least in the early stages of our electronic
journals) did not realize that the library actually had to "license" the
usage.  This is part of the, "everything on the Web is free, isn't it?"
syndrome. We have included a splash screen at the beginning of the session
which comes on for five seconds and reminds the reader that she/he is
reading this by virtue of the license purchased by XXX library. Without
this, the general reader was really not aware that this access was
something their organization was buying and that it was their hard working
librarians which were making their desktop access possible. The splash
screen was the least annoying way of reminding the readers that the
journal is not free.

The second is that we would NEVER get in the reader's way with an
additional click license once we had negotiated terms with the institution.
What's the point? The Internet has too many annoyances as it is, and to
throw yet another impediment into the works is counterproductive. 

Publishers who are so cautious that they feel constrained to do things like
this are missing the boat.  The Internet is a different world, and
information providers have to work _with_ the readers and institutions, not
against them. Moreover, publishers have to embrace the electronic delivery
of information wholeheartedly. Finally, publishers have to appeal to that
part of the readers which remembers the original camaraderie of the
Internet. Double licenses work against the publishers in each of these
areas, and serve to indicate to me that those publishers haven't really
understood the full potential of electronic publishing. I would bet that
their electronic journals are likely to be poor examples of the new genre. 

I should point out that we do have a password check for those of our
members who choose to sign up for an individual license, which is easy to
use from any random hotel room.  But, this step is skipped when when the
reader accesses the journal from some institution. 

Dr. Peter B. Boyce, Professeur Associe, ULP
Centre de Donnees astronomique de Strasbourg, France
               --  boyce@cdsxb6.u-strasbg.fr
and Senior Consultant for Electronic Publishing              
American Astronomical Society
              --   pboyce@aas.org    --  http://www.aas.org/~pboyce