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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In this issue
Article Type: Editorial From: Interlending & Document Supply, Volume 39, Issue 1
Interlending and document supply is in decline in many parts of the world. The decline in demand at BLDSC and INIST are simply reflections of the activity by their customers – who are globally based across all sectors. However the US bucks this trend; whilst growth has slowed it has not yet started to decline even though libraries there purchase Big Deal packages and back files – two causes of the decline elsewhere. So what is happening? Collette Mak makes a good analysis of the situation and it is clear that no one factor is the explanation – “That the effectiveness of resource sharing facilitated by intra and interstate cooperatives using OCLC as a framework is a major factor” (in the resilience of ILL). Others being the improvement in discovery tools, requesting processes and the more recent improvements in the delivery process. Finally the widespread subsidising of access and delivery enables cheap or even free use of document supply. Back in Italy a major study on the impact of Big Deals used data taken from the NILDE network amounting to half a million requests from 50,000 journal titles over five years. A detailed analysis shows that document supply is not a threat to journal subscriptions and the fears of publishers are much exaggerated. Overall document supply via the NILDE network continues to grow – mainly because it engages in continuous improvement and is extremely efficient. And across the world again to Japan – another detailed study of the impact of Big Deals shows that initially Big Deals had no impact on the overall growth of document supply which was driven mainly by the exposure to material not held by Japanese libraries. But current decreases are partly as a result of the digitisation of journals published in Japan. The study is based on the analysis of 10 million requests over 15 years. Pay-per-view is an option open to publishers but most are too greedy to exploit it – prices are in the $30-$50 range per article for a service that is effectively no cost to the publisher. Of course price too “cheaply” and high subscription prices are threatened. An experiment with Elsevier in the USA is described whereby Elsevier provides PPV at a discounted rate. As yet the experiment is too limited to have a measurable impact on document supply but this is likely to change as the experiment expands. Print-on-demand is coming into its own and Suzanne Wilson-Higgins assesses the implications for document supply. Too early to decide is the verdict “but books printed on demand and associated services will play a key role in helping librarians address patron needs”. A study of document supply at a Croatian research institution provides insights, in particular the use of OA material – “for the first time in the analyzed period, the library acquired more documents free of charge than fee based”. And then to India where an article describes the National Union Catalogue of Scientific Serials and its benefits for document supply are identified.
And as usual your editor provides an overview of what has appeared in the literature in the last three months.
Lastly, we publish an obituary for Maurice Line who was the Director at BLDSC following its founder Donald Urquhart.
An issue in short that is filled with international and well researched articles.