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View Diary: e-books: who owns my digital library? (184 comments)

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  •  As a technical person who uses academic... (3+ / 0-)

    ...scientific libraries quite a bit, I have to admit that I like digital stuff, because it's easy to search, and cut through the bull that every text has.

    Also, I am allowed to copy many documents to a disk.

    But I am also worried about issues of permanence.    I can still read books that are 80 years old or so.

    Recently, I found kind of an interesting middle ground.   I needed for some research I was doing on carbon capture schemes to get a 1959 Priestly lecture series book from the archives, which the librarians gracefully acquired, and then scanned it into searchable PDF's.    

    The book itself was in bad shape.    I actually felt guilty about putting it on the scanner, for fear I'd damage it, but it survived.

    And the PDF will survive.

    But I know how electronic publishers can tighten the screws.    There's a great "war" of sorts going on between Elsevier and the library world, and recently many Elsevier journals were cancelled in the library I use, which is one of the best in the world.    It's very frustrating for me, since I am neither faculty nor staff, and cannot use the service by which the library can acquire these journals in a pinch.

    Elsevier seems to be holding knowledge itself hostage.    I do know that some academics are being to boycott them, mostly mathematicians.    Bless their little hearts.

    Let me tell you though, how much I appreciate librarians - my sister-in-law is one - and how much I love great libraries in general.    Thank you for being one, and by preserving past knowledge, building a better future than we'd have in your absence.    A very noble profession!

    •  Elsevier is Demon Spawn (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NNadir, Susan from 29

      I would love to see them taken down a notch or three.

      The White Race can not survive without dairy products - Herbert Hoover (-8.75,-8.36)

      by alain2112 on Thu May 09, 2013 at 06:29:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do much of my library research at Princeton... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alain2112, Susan from 29, nchristine

        University.

        They cut off their Elsevier subscription.   This pains me somewhat, since Princeton libraries are convenient for me.  

        Although faculty, staff and students can still access papers via an elaborate process involving an email and librarian attention, it's not going to do much for the impact factor of their journals when important Universities with big endowments say "enough is enough!"

        There are researchers who are boycotting their journals as well:

        One Elsevier Boycott Page.

        I have to admit that one of my favorite journals was the Journal of Alloys and Compounds, and it was always fun to read Solar Energy for a chuckle, but I'll live.

        I admit though to taking a sneak peek at Elsevier papers of particular interest when I'm in a library that has them.

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