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eJournal storage (Albert Henderson) Marcia Tuttle 08 Jul 1996 12:32 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 17:19:10 EDT
From: Albert Henderson <70244.1532@COMPUSERVE.COM>
Subject: eJournal storage

Subject:      Re: Journal use (Mary Wilke)
 Mary Wilke <wilke@CRLMAIL.UCHICAGO.EDU> makes some good points:


>  But let us
> not forget that there are still many places even here in the United States
> which do not have access to enough equipment if they have it at all.  (And
> please don't say that all the places which *really* need the access
> already have the access.)

Many local telephone lines barely support 2400 baud communications much
less offer the high capacity needed for the Internet. Many institutions
and many researchers don't have the hardware, even in the relatively
prosperous United States, to participate. Most science research, by the
way, is authored outside the United States often using old-fashioned

> Who will be the source for document delivery?  So maybe not all libraries
> cancel their print subscription, but only the majority of them.

In 1992, Association of Research Libraries published projections
indicating that if the present decline in acquisitions continued their
members would purchase no more books and journals by the year 2017. Today
these libraries are a major source for interlibrary loans and document
delivery. What will they be in 20 years? Document delivery is clearly
doomed unless some policy is put in place to conserve the quality of major

>  But even when institutions accept electronic publication,
>  there is the problem of storing this form. It seems to me that because
>  electronic communication doesn't take up shelf space, people forget that
>  space is needed to store or archive e-journals, computer space. The
>  archives of NASIG recently had to be moved from the original space on the
>  American Mathematical Society's computers. NASIG's Electronic
>  Communications Committee managed the move within the time AMS allotted,
>  but this incident should give one pause. Long term storage of e-journals
>  and other electronic communication cannot be taken for granted even when
>  it is a university which is supported the archives. Universities missions,
>  goals, and priorities will change through time. One should not believe
>  that a university will always want to finance electronic archives for an
>  area of study which their institution may no longer support.

Just look at the [implicit] attitude of universities toward their
collections of books and journals. The formerly "free" library has been
called a "bottomless pit" by at least one provost who demanded that
librarians justify their existence. Digital storage will certainly suffer
the same fate. And don't forget the short life of magnetic media and
software. If you think you have preservation problems now, start checking
the oldest floppy disks and tapes you have been storing. What's on those
1976 Honeywell tapes and Hollerith cards you have been hanging on to?
They're only 20 years old....