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Aunt Sommy's Research Paper

Aunt Sommy's Research Paper

the real title of the paper is found below

Fifth Assignment
Databases, Licenses, and Their Impact on the Library Information Science Field
Samantha Saporito
LSC 555
Dr. Choi
October 25, 2009

These days the user, a student at a university or college, expects to find a list of databases which the library system at their school offers on the library homepage. One example is the “Home Page of The Catholic University of America University Libraries” found at http://libraries.cua.edu/welcome.html. Although the user is probably grateful for the access to such databases via the library system, more than likely the user does not consider questions that might be pertinent to a student in the School of Library and Information Science. This paper addresses four questions. First, how are universities and colleges able to provide their students with access to databases such as JSTOR? Second, how has the electronic version of journals impacted libraries? Third, how has the electronic version of journals affected a library’s ability to store and retrieve the journal since the journal is no longer in printed format? Fourth, what does the library have to do in terms of contracts and agreements, and with whom are the contracts and agreements made, in order to make provide their students with access to these databases?

Introduction
This paper focuses on the ways in which the electronic versions of journals found in databases like JSTOR (an information retrieval system) have impacted the library as well as the way in which the need to buy licenses affects a library’s use of, and access to, these journals. The advantages and the disadvantages of databases will also be examined as well. The database is an example of electronic resources; other electronic resources include the websites found on the internet and CD-ROMs.

What is a license?
The Connection Between a License and a Database

In the introduction to Licensing Digital Resources: How to Avoid the legal Pitfalls, Emanuella Giavarra states, “A license is a formal authority to do something which would otherwise be unlawful.”1 Basically, licenses grant access to the electronic resource and specify what a library is able to do and not do with the information contained in the electronic resource. The library is required to purchase licenses from a vendor in order to gain access to the particular electronic resource. The license allows the library access to the electronic resource for a defined period of time, such as two years, with the possibility of renewal if the library desires to continue access to the resource. Also included in a license are the exact terms and conditions regarding the use of the electronic resource as well as terms which clearly state who is able to access the electronic resource and whether or not the user has to be connected to the institution’s network in order to access the database (this condition deals with the question of remote access).

In his work Electronic collection development, A practical guide, Stuart D. Lee comments on the flexibility of licenses, since licenses are usually negotiated and able to be tailored to more accurately fit a library’s expectations and needs. Lee writes: “The first thing to remember is that in most cases licenses are not set in stone. Individual institutions are always at liberty to discuss and negotiate deals according to their own requirements.”2

The librarian’s job entails understanding license agreements and entering into license agreements which provide optimal benefit to the library and its users. Unfortunately, since licensing agreements function as legal documents, the terminology and phrases found in license agreements can be confusing and difficult to understand. The good news is that there are books and websites which explain and define the licensing terminology and phrases as well as provide tips for making good license agreements. A selection of such resources I discovered during the course of my research is included after the Bibliography. The library also needs to be concerned with managing its electronic resources; this is called the Electronic Resource Management System (ERMS). The library needs to be aware of when it needs to renew the license of databases and the cost of the renewal as well as the licenses of all electronic resources maintained by the library.

Various Issues Concerning Databases
Some of the issues that need to be considered when dealing with databases include the cost, the location of the computers granted access to the database (direct versus remote access), and specifically who is able to access the database. The cost of the database can depend on several factors such as the way in which the vendor classifies the institution and whether the cost of the electronic subscription is reduced if the library purchases a subscription to the journals in print as well. Using The Catholic University of America (CUA) as an example, access concerns whether or not the computer is required to be connected to CUA’s network (examples include the individual laptops in the dorms which are connected to a LAN line, the computers found in Mullen Library, and the computers located in the third floor computer lab of Pangborn). If the computer does not need to be connected to CUA’s network, this means that the user is able to remotely access the databases when the user is off campus. The databases at CUA allow users remote access; once the user has provided his or her last name, the ID number found on the user’s Cardinal Card, and the name of the university (Catholic), the user can access the databases from any laptop or computer. The issue of who is able to access the database would determine whether or not the following types of individuals are able to access the database: current students of that university, staff, faculty, alumnae of that university, or anyone in general. The fact that a license limits who has access to the database can be viewed as a disadvantage. One might ask “Why is the scholarly research limited only to those who can access the scholarly databases even though we live in a technology shaped world focused on the sharing of ideas and collaboration since wikis, blogs, and websites found on the internet allow individuals and computers around the world to talk to with each other?”

Another issue involved in the licensing of databases concerns the fact that sometimes the terms of the license can overrule the rights of the Copyright Act. If a license agreement contains terms which overrule the Copyright Act, this is not a good license agreement. One very important question which needs to be considered is “Does the license allows for some degree of copying?” Vicki Gregory comments on the critical difference between licensing and buying an electronic resource and the various concerns involved, such as copying. She writes “This distinction, which may sound inconsequential at first blush, is nevertheless extremely important regarding the fair use rights of the library purchaser, and regarding the library’s long-term access to the material.”3 She continues: “From the beginning, the drafters of copyright laws have generally agreed that at least some kinds of copying should be permitted.”4 Gregory highlights the fact that some degree of copying is permitted with regard to electronic resources.

A good license agreement will also allow resource sharing, an example of which would be the interlibrary library loan (ILL). This means libraries which have the particular journal are able to share the journal with libraries which do not. This can be accomplished as an electronic version of the journal article which is sent to the user’s MyALADIN, for example, and access is available for two weeks before it disappears. The user would need to print the article or download the article onto his or her laptop in order to have access to the article after the two week period.

Another issue concerns how soon the recent issues of the journals can be found electronically in the databases. For example, JSTOR (Journal Storage) adds the recent issue of a journal after a period of usually three to five years, this is called a “moving wall“ – the time period is determined between the publisher of that specific journal and JSTOR. JSTOR recognizes the fact that the publisher of the journal needs to make a profit from journal subscriptions so this is the reason that the most recent issues of a journal are not immediately available on JSTOR. Another option between JSTOR and the publisher regarding the journals in the database is known as a “fixed wall” which means JSTOR will not add any more issues of that journal to JSTOR after a specified date. This is no longer an option for publishers to choose but JSTOR is working with the publishers who already have the “fixed wall” option so that the “fixed wall” can become a “moving wall” since libraries and others prefer the “moving wall” instead of the “fixed wall” because it provides greater access to journals.5

One reason database access can be so costly reflects the fact that the publisher of the journals needs to receive money in addition to the profits generated from selling subscriptions of the print version of that journal in order to reimburse the author of the journal article. The vendor of a database is aware of this. One is left to wonder if it would ever be possible for the cost of database access to become less expensive and possibly even free, something which would significantly reduce the restrictions currently preventing anyone from accessing these excellent resources and scholarly databases.

In the interest of promoting universal access, would it make sense to have the government pay the authors (the scholars) of articles in the scholarly journals instead of the publisher of the journal? My purpose for raising such questions is not because I have the ideal answer but rather to stimulate thinking and discussion of the issue.

How does a Database like JSTOR Impact Libraries?
(Includes the Advantages and Disadvantages of Databases)

Databases such as JSTOR provide libraries with access to journals they might not physically have. For example, by means of a database CUA has online access to numerous journals which CUA does not actually have in print format. It is not possible for libraries to own all of the scholarly journals which are in print because the library would not have enough storage space nor would the library have the financial resources to afford all of the subscription costs. Unfortunately, if the vendor of the database decides to drop a particular journal or if the library decides for some reason not to renew the license, that specific journal will no longer be available to be accessed by the library’s users. This could be frustrating to the users of the databases since journal availability is not necessarily constant or guaranteed; the fact that a particular journal was available the last time the individual accessed that particular database does not guarantee that it will always be available to be accessed.

One advantage of a database is that the journals available through the database are not taking up space on the shelves which means that the space which would have been filled by the print version of the journal can be allocated to other journals and books which are not available electronically. Finding the shelve space for all of the library’s books, journals, and other resources is always a constant concern since the library is continually adding to its collection.

Another advantage of databases is that the user can search for journal articles by topic instead of knowing the exact journal name, the title of the article, or the author of the article. In the past someone would go to the journal in print after finding a citation in a book or another journal article which made a reference to that journal article. An individual who uses a database can search by a word or a combination of words as in a Boolean Operator which would result in a list of articles which the database matches against the user’s search criteria. Additionally, it is very simple for the user to refine the original search or to start a new search using the database. Databases provide an efficient way to search for information because the user is not wasting time finding the different journals in print which could be in different areas of the library and skimming the table of contents for a list of the articles included in order to find an article that corresponds to his or her topic of interest. For example, there are periodicals found on the first floor in the stacks of Mullen Library, the third floor in the Religious Studies and Philosophy Reading Room of Mullen Library, as well as elsewhere in the Library. To thoroughly search these areas would be extremely time consuming! The database also allows the user to print the list of results as well as the actual journal articles.

One disadvantage is that the database relies on the internet and if anything was to disrupt access to the internet the user would not be able to access the database. What would happen in the event the internet was down for a prolonged period of time – a week, a month, or a few months? In this case the user would be able to access the print version of whatever journals are maintained by the library.

Further questions concern the continued existence of JSTOR. What would happen if JSTOR suddenly does not exist? What happens to all of those journals which were available on JSTOR? What happens to the text files and the image files which the journals were stored as in JSTOR? Since websites do disappear suddenly the continued existence of JSTOR should be a concern.

Another disadvantage, or advantage depending on one’s perspective, is that access to some journals comes bundled with other journals; this is the reason it is possible for a specific electronic journal to be available in several databases. In the interest of controlling costs, a library would not want to pay for access to a journal in a database it is considering purchasing if the library already has access to that identical journal in a database for which it already has a license. Since access to databases costs money, usually thousands of dollars, is it worthwhile for a library to have access to the same electronic journal in several databases? One situation in which this might make sense would be if one of the databases was slow, the user would then be able to try the other databases to access the electronic journal. One factor which might ultimately influence the decision to obtain a duplicate subscription to the journal might be the frequency this journal is accessed by users and the number of users “ one department, several departments, or the whole university.

Since the library has always been the location for storing books, journals, maps, and anything else for continual and future use, one interesting impact databases have had on the library regards storage. The authors write their works and it is the library that preserves, protects, and stores these works so they can be available to others. As a result of the technology advances of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, some storage is no longer being done by the library itself but is done by others such as JSTOR.

JSTOR was the Answer to a Problem of the 1980s
The problem was the rising subscription prices of journals in the 1980s and meant a huge percentage of a library’s budget was dedicated to journal acquisition often at the expense of other items such as books and monographs.6 JSTOR began as a pilot program in 1995 and “became available officially in January, 1997,”7 since then it has been a huge success. Marilyn Deegan and Simon Tanner comment upon JSTOR’s plan to help libraries to find shelve space: “The plan was to convert back issues to electronic files, allowing libraries to dispose of the paper version and thus free up shelve space and save capital costs.”8 They continue by noting that libraries which had never purchased the actually physical journal now gained access to the electronic journal through JSTOR: “A collateral benefit is that smaller institutions who have never purchased some of the titles in the first place can now access them at a fraction of the cost of the initial subscription.”9

Abbey Smith comments on the relationship between the subscription fee and what the fee allows JSTOR to do: “It charges a one-time fee to all subscribers to support the costs of digitalizing print journals and managing those files.”10 Instead of the libraries being responsible for the storage of the print version of journals, it is JSTOR that is digitally storing the journal and allowing many institutions access to the digitally stored journals, after they have paid the subscription fee.

Conclusion
Databases offer libraries tremendous advantages since they do not require shelve space; however the disadvantage is that the library does not buy the database so access to the database is not ensured forever. It is extremely important that the librarian thoroughly understands and carefully reviews the terms of the licensing agreements for all electronic resources since the failure to do so could result in consequences. As one can see, electronic resources, in particular the database, provide considerable advantages to both the library and their users, however they are an extremely complex issue with concerns which might not be immediately obvious to a student using the databases provided by his or her university or college. In summary, databases have impacted libraries in many ways since storage, an important feature of the library, is being done by others. In addition, the online access of journals allows individuals a greater extent of access to the journals since more individuals now have access to the journals, individuals can access the databases remotely (the user does not have to be physically inside the library to use the databases), and the library now has access to journals it never had before.

1 E. Giavarra, Licensing Digital Resources: How to Avoid the Legal Pitfalls, 2nd ed. (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations: The Hague, 2001), 3, http://www.eblida.org/index.php?page=publications.

2 Stuart D. Lee, Electronic collection development A practical guide (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishing, 2002), 81.

3 Vicki L. Gregory, Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources A How-To-Do-IT Manual, no 101, How-To-Do-It Manuals For Librarians (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000), 69.

4 Gregory, 69.

5 “JSTOR: The Archives,” JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/index.jsp and “JSTOR: Moving Wall,” JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/journals/movingWall.jsp. In order to find more information about JSTOR, the reader is encouraged to visit the “About” section found on JSTOR (http://www.jstor.org).

6 Kevin M. Guthrie, “JSTOR, in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, ed. Miriam A. Drake. Vol. 2 Des-Lib Pages 803-1590. 2nd ed. (New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003), 1467.

7 Mary Beth Fecko, Electronic Resources: Access and Issues, Topics in Library and Information Studies (New Providence, NJ: Bowker-Saur, 1997), 81.

8 Marilyn Deegan and Simon Tanner, Digital futures Strategies for the information age (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2002), 73.

9 Deegan and Tanner, 73.

10 Abby Smith, “Strategies for preserving digital content,” In The Whole Digital Library Handbook, ed. Diane Kresh for the Council on Library and Information Resources (Chicago: American Library Association, 2007), 360-361.

Bibliography
American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Science Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association. “Principles for Licensing Electronic Resources (July ’ 97).” Association of Research Libraries. http://www.arl.org/sc/marketplace/license/licprinciples.shtml.

Carrico, Jeffrey C. and Kathleen L. Smalldon. “Licensed to ILL: A Beginning Guide to Negotiating E-Resources Licenses to Permit Resource Sharing.” In The Changing Landscape For Electronic Resources: Content, Access, Delivery, and Legal Issues. Edited by Yem S. Fong and Suzanne M. Ward. The Journal of Library Administration Monographic Separates. New York: Haworth Information Press, 2004, 41-54.

Christou, Corilee and Gail Dykstra. “Licensing Electronic Content.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Edited by Miriam A. Drake. Vol 3 Lib-Pub Pages 1591-2378. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003, 1669-1679.

Deegan, Marilyn and Simon Tanner. Digital futures Strategies for the information age. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2002.

Fecko, Mary Beth. Electronic Resources: Access and Issues. Topics in Library and Information Studies. New Providence, NJ: Bowker-Saur, 1997.

Giavarra E. Licensing Digital Resources: How to Avoid the Legal Pitfalls. 2nd ed. European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations: The Hague, 2001. http://www.eblida.org/index.php?page=publications.

Gregory, Vicki L. Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources A How-To-Do-IT Manual, no 101. How-To-Do-It Manuals For Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000.

Guenther, Kim. “Making Smart Licensing Decisions.” Computers in Libraries. http://infotoday.com/cilmag/jun00/guenther.htm.

Guthrie, Kevin M. “JSTOR.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Edited by Miriam A. Drake. Vol. 2 Des-Lib Pages 803-1590. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003, 1467-1473.

Lee, Stuart D. Electronic collection development A practical guide. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishing, 2002.

Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

Smith, Abby. “Strategies for preserving digital content.“ In The Whole Digital Library Handbook. Edited by Diane Kresh for the Council on Library and Information Resources. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007, 358-363.

Yale University. “Liblicense Licensing Digital Information A Resource For Librarians.” http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ (accessed October 27, 2009).

“JSTOR: The Archives.” JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/index.jsp.

“JSTOR: Moving Wall.” JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/journals/movingWall.jsp.

Useful Resources for Gaining an Understanding
of the Basics of License Agreements and Databases

American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Science Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association. “Principles for Licensing Electronic Resources (July ’ 97).” Association of Research Libraries. http://www.arl.org/sc/marketplace/license/licprinciples.shtml.
This article focuses on licenses and includes fifteen principles for licensing electronic resources. These principles are brief but they help the individual to understand the aspects of licenses and how these aspects can work to the library’s advantage.

Christou, Corilee and Gail Dykstra. “Licensing Electronic Content.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Edited by Miriam A. Drake. Vol 3 Lib-Pub Pages 1591-2378. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003, 1669-1679.
This article provides a detailed analysis of licenses and provides examples of the different sections of a license, the steps involved for a library which wishes to buy a license, and advice for the library in the process of negotiating the license with the vendor.

Giavarra E. Licensing Digital Resources: How to Avoid the Legal Pitfalls. 2nd ed. European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations: The Hague, 2001. http://www.eblida.org/index.php?page=publications.
This lengthy document examines the license and the clauses found within a license.

Gregory, Vicki L. Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources A How-To-Do-IT Manual, no 101. How-To-Do-It Manuals For Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000.
This book focuses on the selection of electronic resources and licenses (negotiating and managing). I had plans of including more information I learned from this book in my paper but in order to do so I would have needed to devote more space to it than was possible with the page limitation.

Guenther, Kim. “Making Smart Licensing Decisions.” Computers in Libraries. http://infotoday.com/cilmag/jun00/guenther.htm
This short article (less than four pages) focuses on criteria that the library can use to judge the selection of an electronic resource and the license agreement.

Guthrie, Kevin M. “JSTOR.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Edited by Miriam A. Drake. Vol. 2 Des-Lib Pages 803-1590. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003, 1467-1473.
This article provides a detail history of JSTOR including the time when JSTOR was a pilot program, its accomplishments, and goals up to 2003.

Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
This dictionary provides very authoritative definitions for words like authorized use, database, electronic resource, licensing agreement, site license, and vendor which allow the individual to gain a basic idea of the meaning of the words and how they are used in the field of library and information science.

Yale University. “Liblicense Licensing Digital Information A Resource For Librarians.” http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ (accessed October 27, 2009).
This website contains a vast amount of information dealing with the licensing topic; two very good sections on this website are “Licensing Vocabulary” and “Licensing Terms & Descriptions”. The “Licensing Vocabulary” section contains an extensive list of words and definitions while the “Licensing Terms & Descriptions” section includes licensing agreement clauses, the issues involved with each clause, and examples of how each clause would appear in a license agreement.

“JSTOR: The Archives.“ JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/index.jsp.
This page contains information about JSTOR’s mission and purpose.

“JSTOR: Moving Wall.” JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/archives/journals/movingWall.jsp.
This page contains information about the fact that recent issues of journals are not found on JSTOR as well as information pertaining to the concepts of “moving wall” and “fixed wall”.

this page was last updated on December 16, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Aunt Sommy’s First EssayAunt Sommy’s Home Page Aunt Sommy’s Evaluation of an Information Retrieval System Bankie’s Blog Aunt Sommy’s In-class Exercise Aunt Sommy’s Heuristic Evaluation Exercise Aunt Sommy’s Team Project Aunt Sommy’s Reflection Essay Aunt Sommy’s Site Map Aunt Sommy’s About