Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Feb 19 23:43:46 UTC 2010

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> True, but equally irritating if not more so is when Tenured Academics
> cheerfully and without qualification refer to something as "available
> online", when they are referring to JSTOR, MUSE, EEBO, ECCO, etc.,
> failing to realise that these are virtually inaccessible to
> Scholars.
> The situation has reached such an extreme, at least in the United
> Kingdom, that a recently retired friend spent the final six months of
his tenure
> negotiating specifically for this issue to be included in his
> retirement package.  That it took six months for this to be worked out
> mostly on the baroque licensing arrangements of most on-line academic
> resources restricting these to "students and members of staff" of an
> says something, as does the fact that my friend felt it worth the time
> effort to dig his heels in and hold out for this.  (He was finally
> successful.)
> The phrase, "access to a library", is no longer, if it ever was,
> transparent or uncontentious.
> Robin

I guess I'm one of those "independent scholars".  I've been lucky in
arranging access (by paying out of my own pocket) to ProQuest Hist
Newspapers (most of them, anyway), Nineteenth Cent Newspapers,
Newspaperarchive, Newsbank Historical Newspapers and a couple of others,
and through the Army Lab that I work for, I get some of the
general-purpose ones (like ProQuest ABI/INFORM) and the technical ones.
But danged if I can find a way into JSTOR, and the others that Robin
mentions, or HeinOnline, Westlaw, LoisLaw, Factiva, or Lexis/Nexis.

Used to, I could walk into the library at Univ Ala Huntsville (yes, that
one, the one that's been in the news lately) and sit at a public
terminal and get access to some of these.  But as of the first of the
year, they started requiring a login with a student ID to do that --
they say that it's a requirement of the licenses from the vendors.  But
most of the costs of public universities are paid by taxpayers, not
students, so this seems like a pretty raw deal for me.  And it's
especially galling that they are getting rid of paper copies of old
journals since "they are online".

Alabama is backwards in a number of ways, but the Alabama Virtual
Library is a great deal -- anyone with a library card or that is a
student can get access to a number of databases: .  But I really wish they
had JSTOR . . .  .

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