The electronic library: cornucopia or poisoned chalice?

Ball, D., 2003. The electronic library: cornucopia or poisoned chalice? In: National Policy of the Library Collection Development to Promote Education and Culture in Society: international conference, 10-11 April 2003, Riga, Latvia, pp. 43-54.

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Abstract

At first sight the "big (or all-you-can-eat) deal" seems excellent value for libraries and their users, and represents the shining possibilities of the electronic age. A more thorough-going evaluation, however, exposes dangers for libraries, their funders and publishers. This paper examines some of the implications of electronic resources for collection development. The roles and strengths of the players in the information supply chain are defined: creators, publishers, intermediaries, libraries. Traditional hard-copy procurement is analysed in terms of these roles and the concepts of authority, branding and monopoly. The fundamentals of procuring electronic resources are discussed in terms of the same roles and concepts. The advantages of the big deal are laid out - access to resources, low unit costs etc. The dangers are also discussed. These arise mainly from the publishers' position as monopolists. The possible effects on academic publishing of dealing with monopoly suppliers are examined. Means of avoiding or minimising these dangers - consortia, alternative publishing methods - are examined.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Publishing Electronic journals Big deal
Subjects:Generalities > Library and Information Science
Group:Academic Services
ID Code:231
Deposited By:Mr David Ball LEFT
Deposited On:10 May 2007
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 14:34

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