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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In this issue
Article Type: Editorial From: Interlending & Document Supply, Volume 38, Issue 2
The next year or so will be interesting times for document supply. The cuts in public services required to repay the vast debts incurred in bailing out the bankers will have a severe impact on libraries. In the USA this will be compounded by the decline in philanthropic donations and investment income. This hardship coincides with mounting frustration at the way in which big ticket expenditures on journal packages and serial back runs impose a stranglehold on selection policies. One consequence of this frustration is the dramatic expansion of freely available material directly accessible on the web; 20-30 per cent are not uncommon figures depending on the subject area. At the same time, document supply itself has become more cost effective, faster and simpler to use. Publishers react by imposing ever more stringent electronic constraints. It is not a stable situation. One aspect of the crisis is the focus on developing more effective resource sharing tools and we cover some examples in this issue of ILDS as well as developments in document supply itself. The literature review covers a number of articles that look at the big deals in some detail. Something we hope for everyone.
We publish an article by Jan Brase and Ina Blümel describing the exciting work being done at TIB in Germany and the launch of Datacite. This development highlights the importance of research transparency, linking article access to the raw data that lies behind it. It has compelling contemporary relevance given the controversy over access to climate change data. The accusation that obsessive climate change deniers waste the valuable time of researchers is more easily dealt with if the critics can access data directly themselves. The linking of vast databases – many of them hidden from view – is a complex task and WorldWideScience is a trailblazer in this area. The Director, Walter Warnick, describes the developments that led to its launch in 2007 and its subsequent development path. But many countries are still struggling to provide basic tools to access and share limited resources and Afshin Mousavi Chelak and Fereydoon Azadeh give us a critical evaluation of the painful progress being made towards building a union catalogue in Iran.
If interlending and document supply occupies a relatively small niche in library services then international ILL is even more so. However as databases make ever more material available it is becoming more important and David Atkins gives a perspective from the USA. More specifically two countries close to each other but far from others have exploited the advantages of sharing their resources in a systematic fashion. Debbie Hanington (Australia) and David Reid (NZ) share their experience of the development of “trans Tasman” interlending and document supply in these pages. In India the success story of DELNET is described by Sangeeta Kaul. DELNET is a self sustaining resource sharing network that started in Delhi in 1988 and has since spread throughout India and indeed has some international links. It now covers nearly 1,700 libraries and continues its rapid growth. Open Access to medical literature in the UK has been dramatically enhanced by the launch of UK PubMedCentral. Downloads have grown from 96,000 in January 2009 to 750,000 in January 2010. Paul Davey describes how the British Library with its partners is bringing material to the desktops of medical researchers. And finally your editor brings you up to date with a double length review of the latest published material on interlending and document supply and related areas of interest.