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ICSTI: information from recent messages

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: information from recent messages
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 09:32:29 +0100 (BST)

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------
>From Peter Subers excellent Freedom Of Science weblog....

The Information Access Alliance, a consortium of six US library organizations, 
urging the Justice Department to block Cinven and Candover's acquisition of
BertelsmannSpringer. Quoting the press release: "The Alliance is concerned 
this transaction will bring about a reduction in access to critical research
Quoting James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University
Librarian at Columbia University: "History shows that when journal publishers
merge, consumers suffer. The increased market power resulting from recent
mergers has allowed publishers to boost prices. This has led to subscription
cancellations, which deprive scientists of access to basic tools they need to
conduct research."
Quoting David Shulenburger, Provost at the University of Kansas: "The 
research that journals support and document is a key contributor to the 
quality of
life and economic well-being of our nation. The erosion of access to research 
only poses a risk to tomorrow's discoveries, but because the U.S. government
spends $100 billion annually on research, it reduces the American taxpayers'
return on investment. It is a situation that urgently needs to be addressed"

I am not sure if the US Justice Department can block the sale, as far as I 
know the
deal is European in origin. Anyone any information on what the DoJ could do??
On the other hand the EU might step in, haven't seen any comment on that yet.

Bye, Barry Mahon

>From Information Today, with apologies to those of who have already seen the

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announced that Janice R. Lachance
has been selected to serve as its next executive director. She will assume
the responsibilities on July 1, 2003.

Bye, Barry

Dear All,

An interesting article in the current (Vol 8, Number 21, May 26th, 2003, page 
issue of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN). It concerns a case on appeal
to the US Supreme Court about the use of a patent protected Free Electron 
(FEL) in an experimental situation in Duke University.
Up to now scientists have believed that they were immune from infringment
proceedings if their work was part of experimental use defined as "solely for
amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity or for philosophical inquiry"
The issue is clouded by the fact that the holder of the patents on FEL was on 
staff at Duke but left following a difference of opinion about the use of his
techniques there.
Apart from the specific case there is also the question of its implications 
Universities who actively encourage, and are funded to undertake, research 
for commercial entities. Duke has defended itself by claiming experimental use
and the fact that the University is a non-profit institution. One of the 
arguments by
the patent holder was that this status is not commensurate with getting grants 
commercial entities to undertake research leading to product development.
These wider implications have caused other universities to join with the case 
as it
goes before the Supreme Court. In particular the case may affect private
universities because the court has already ruled that publicly funded 
are exempted from patent infringement. However, even this ruling may now be
effectively overturned by new legislation.
A further complication, according to C&EN is that experimental investigation 
patented processes is permitted outside the US and there is a fear that 
will be 'driven offshore' if the case succeeds.

Bye, Barry
This time from Managing Information:-

Special Libraries Association Announce Conference Partnership

Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society will
serve as one of three Major Conference Partners at the Special Libraries
Association's (SLA) 94th Annual Conference in New York. As a conference
partner, CAS has pledged support for specific conference activities and 
including conference tote bags, conference lounge, the popular Hot Topic 
and the INFO-EXPO Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The event takes place between
June 7-12, 2003.

"CAS is delighted to once again support the efforts of SLA," said CAS 
Director, Suzan A. Brown. "We are committed to maintaining a strong 
with information professionals who depend on quality scientific and technical
information to support their organizations' intellectual property and research
activity. CAS recognizes the importance of the SLA to the success of 

Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
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