Re: New Study on Electronic Publishing

Subject: Re: New Study on Electronic Publishing
From: Mr C A Rusbridge (
Date: ke 23 loka   1996 - 15:15:55 EEST

Charles wrote:

> What role did the publishers have in mind for the librarians???

and Emanuella replied:

> The concept is that STM publishers should focus more on the reader than
> on the author. There is competition from the libraries for the same
> readers. This means that STM publishers should set up clearing houses
> and will deliver to libraries and readers. They will also do the rights
> clearences. Publishers should become a 'one stop shop' for readers.

At a couple of recent forums I went to with both librarians and
publishers, I noticed two things:

a) publishers believe they have to take on more of what used to be the
roles of librarians in the digital world

b) publishers are absolutely unwilling to take on the _responsibilities_
of librarians, especially for preservation.

This does not augur well for our future, especially in terms of the
preservation of our cultural resources. Companies will take commercial
decisions about their resources, which (especially after changes in
ownership) can be ill-informed and short term.

In this context, note the various Info2000 reports coming out of the
European Commission. Here the terms 'cultural heritage' are treated as a
resource to be exploited, not a fragile treasure to be preserved for our
children. We must ensure that any extensions of copyright law in the
digital domain allow librarians to fulfill their responsibilities. Charles
Oppenheim's point about making it an offence to have an ECMS which
prevents proper fair use (and preservation) activities is well 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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