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I am curious about what other experiences people on this list have had
with the electronic subscriptions policies & licenses of the American
Insititute of Physics/American Physical Society.

I am afraid that our university's experience with them has been extremely
disappointing. One tends to expect problems when dealing with the big
publishers like Elsevier (who have actually been pretty responsive to us),
and not from a learned society like AIP, which I was under the impression
would be in the business of serving its member physicists. Instead they
have been quite intent on putting up roadblock after roadblock for us in
our quest to put their electronic publications on our web. I would think
they would be more interested in making those same publications easily
available to their membership.

Our difficulties with them can be divided into two areas:

1) Interlibrary loan restrictions. We ask that they allow us to make
print-outs of electronic copy, and them mail them via traditional USPS
means for interlibrary loan purposes. They refuse to allow any ILL use of
their electronic publications whatsoever, even if we stipulate that no
direct electronic retransmission would be done. While we have had to
occaisonally negotiate this point with other publishers, AIP is the ONLY
one with which we have not been able to reach a satisfactory compromise

2) Access to our IP ranges. ISU has a DOE lab located on our campus, known
as Ames Lab. The Lab has a different set of IP addresses than the main
campus, but other parts of the university use different IPs as well. It is
physically on our campus. The researchers there are ISU faculty, whose
offices are located in the lab. We have a contact with Ames Lab that
requires us to provide them with all electronic resources that we provide
any other unit on the campus. For us not to do so, would put us in
violation of that contract.

We had already had APS (part of AIP) publications available on our web for
some time. Suddenly, AIP cut off access to Ames Lab without the slightest
bit of warning to us, which at the very least was pretty rude of them. We
contend that the Lab is a unit of this University for as long as we are
contracted with them. As such, vendors should provide services to their IP
ranges, just as they would to other ISU IP ranges. Their failure to do so
puts us in the uncomfortable position of have to discontinue access of ALL
APS electronic pubs to the entire university community, in order to remain
in compliance with the Ames Lab contract.

I think AIP would want to be a little flexible in dealing with the
legitimate concerns of a major academic insititution, but all that I have
gotten from them thus far is an unwavering "company line" about AIP having
to protect "its rights". As I indicated previously, I think they should be
more concerned with serving its membership.

I am interested in any similar experiences with AIP that others on the
list may have had, and any constructive suggestions for dealing with them.
Thus far, I am not optimistic about our relations with them, and in my
tenure as electronic resources coordinator at ISU, they are the only
vendor that would not compromise with us.


David C. Fowler
Electronic Resources Coordinator
204 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Office (515) 294-0422
Fax (515) 294-5525