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Libraries and archiving (Re: RE: If electronic is to replacepaper)

>>> Rick Anderson <rick_anderson@uncg.edu> 11/17 4:37 PM >>>

> Some very good ideas have been expressed.  However, why are libraries now
> advocating publishers or disinterested third parties archive electronic
> journals?  Libraries need to, in my opinion, archive and maintain access
> to the electronic journals they have subscribed to.  

Hear, hear.  Publishing and archiving are very, very different endeavors,
and it's not fair for librarians (who have never expected publishers to
act as an archive before) to suddenly insist that publishers do so now, in
the electronic environment.

Rick Anderson

***I don't see that it is not fair for libraries to ask publishers to
handle archiving of electronic materials.  It is probably unfair that
libraries expect this done at no extra charge, but that is a different
issue.  Electronic resources can probably be best made available through a
central archive with adequate mirror sites.  This arrangement is less
optimal for paper resources, although we sometimes seem to be moving in
this direction as ever higher prices result in fewer copies and more
ILL/document delivery.

With paper copies we expect to incur archiving expenses (buildings,
shelving, staff time) and one of the desires of library administrators in
looking at electronic resources is to avoid these local expenses.  Whether
this is "fair" or not seems beside the point.  The question comes down to
"what is the best deal we can work out?"  If we can get electronic access in
perpetuity for no more than the initial purchase price of the paper, and the
publisher is agreeable, why would we turn down such a good deal?  The money
we would have spent for local archiving, or which we would have paid to a
third party for archiving, can go to try to balance our budgets, to acquire
other resources, to expand services, etc.  If the publisher can provide
archiving as part of the purchase price and still turn a profit, while
charging a fee libraries find reaosnable, then the deal is fair.


Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
1000 Spring Garden St.
Greensboro, NC 27402-6175
PH (336) 334-5281
FX (336) 334-5399

"Freudian apologists welcome his
objections as the Undead welcome
-- Frank Cioffi (on Adolf Grunbaum)