Re: New ways of doing business

Subject: Re: New ways of doing business
From: Mr C A Rusbridge (
Date: to 15 elo    1996 - 14:42:37 EEST

> These are both positive developments. Does anybody on the list had
> recently negative experiences in trying to get publishers to
> cooperated concerning the use of electronic information. A positive
> experience is of course also welcome. Do you think that the climate
> is changing. Last year I heard overall more negative experiences in
> trying to cooperate with publishers than positive ones. I would also
> be very interested to hear if anybody of this list has recently started a
> pilot project with publishers.

The UK HE Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) has recently started a
number of projects with publishers. The largest of these is the
SuperJournal project (, involving a
consortium of 20 publishers. Another project, InfoBike
( has a pricing working
party involving librarians and publishers, currently working on a report.
Many other projects are beginning to grapple with pricing and licensing
issues as they start to think about funding exit strategies and

Another group of projects, in our On Demand Publishing programme area,
have to deal on a day to day basis with publishers to negotiate rights
clearances. After some initial problems, I think both groups are
beginning to understand one another better. We have had a couple of
significant meetings between eLib and publishers to help resolve some of
the difficulties. Most recently, we had a meeting with the Publishers
Association which will result in 5 small joint working groups based
around the ideas which made the recent custom publishing working group
successful. These groups have a tight timescale and will be set up in
early autumn.

There are some very real problems here, but provided we realise that it
works both ways, that the suggestions of some librarians are just as
unrealistic as the suggestions of some publishers, and concentrate and
build on what we have in common, I think progress can be made.

Chris Rusbridge

Programme Director, Electronic Libraries Programme The Library, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK Phone 01203 524979 Fax 01203 524981 Email

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