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Legal deposit libraries

As a result of my visit to Oxford last week, I'm interested to know what
the IUCr's policy is and should be with respect to electronic access of
our journals (and other material) from legal deposit libraries.

As I understand things, and please correct me if wrong, certain
libraries around the world are designated legal deposit libraries and
every publisher is obliged to provide a free copy of each published
print work. In return the legal deposit libraries undertake the
archiving (long-term preservation and access) of the printed work. The
printed work can be consulted by people who visit the legal deposit
library (I'm not sure whether they are allowed to take books or journals
off the premises). 

For works in electronic form, there is as yet in any country no
statutory requirement for legal deposit. The British Library has
instigated a voluntary scheme whilst awaiting legislation. It seems from
what one of the library assistants at the Radcliffe Library, a legal
deposit library in the UK, told David Watkin last week that publishing
houses have differing policies concerning allowing free electronic
access to legal deposit libraries. On one extreme the publisher says
they have no legal obligation and if the legal deposit library wants
e-access they must pay a normal e-subscription. On the other, publishers
accord free e-access to the library. At the British Library, this
e-access applies strictly to access from terminals/pcs situated within
the walls of the BL. What the Radcliffe does, it seems, depends on what
the publisher tells it to do.
 
Should the IUCr allow free electronic access to its journals from a
legal deposit library?
To what 'domain' should this free e-access be limited? (i.e. only inside
the library or the whole of parent institution). If they want e-access
should they be asked to take out an e-subscription? For print, the legal
deposit libraries undertake the service of an archive (long-term
preservation and access). Under the proposed IUCr e-Archive policy the
legal deposit libraries are (currently at least) not partners in the
archive so logically they should not expect to receive free access. 

Please pen any thoughts or information on this subject, and I'll do the
rounds at the next ICSTI meeting to see what librarians and others say.

How many free subscriptions does the IUCr offer to legal-deposit
libraries?
Which of these legal-deposit libraries are associated with an academic
institution which would make heavy use of the e-access?

Best wishes,
  H.
-- 
Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: 41 (22) 702 62 49
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet             mailto:Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch
CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland                   Fax: 41 (22) 702 61 08

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