Electronic document delivery: New options for libraries

Electronic document delivery: New options for libraries

Electronic Document Delivery: New Options for Libraries by Ronald G. Leach and Judith E. Tribble New document delivery services are enabling libraria...

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Electronic Document Delivery: New Options for Libraries by Ronald G. Leach and Judith E. Tribble

New document delivery services are enabling librarians to revisit collection development issues. This article examines several remote ‘and on-site access systems.

Ronald

G. Leach is Dean

Services and Judith E. Tribble Lending University

Services,

Libraries,

of Library is Head

Indiana

Terre Haute,

of

State IN.

I

magine if you will the following scenario. Professor Jones, Department Chair, is looking for recent periodical literature on issues related to student retention. He needs this information before chairing a meeting that is scheduled in several days. How does he go about getting it? Using a computer at his desk or in the campus library, he first searches locally mounted periodical citation databases and the library’s online catalog for holdings on the subject. If he finds what he needs, he may retrieve and photocopy/print the information on the spot, or he may have the library deliver photocopies or send a fax to his office the following day. But what if he cannot find what he needs locally? Professor Jones still has options. From the same PC, he may search the online catalogs of other libraries that are members of a consortium to which his institution belongs. Information located this way may be sent to his campus library, his department’s fax machine, or his desktop computer within a day or two. But what if he wants more on the subject? Still at the PC, he may choose to search a commercial database provided through an electronic gateway on the library’s online catalog or the campus network. After locating what he needs by searching through the tables of contents of several professional journals, Jones is able to order the articles and have them sent within 24 hours to the same receiving points mentioned above. This phase of his armchair searching takes minutes, and it may yield sameday delivery of the desired articles. An Alternative to Traditional Collection Development Academic libraries are beginning to seriously explore commercial document

delivery services as supplements to or replacements for local collections. While libraries have for some time used commercial document delivery companies such as the American Chemical Society’s CAS Document Delivery Service, the Institute for Scientific Information’s “Genuine Article,” and University Microfilm’s Article Clearinghouse, they have found that these services do not provide convenient table-of-contents searching or timely full-text retrieval by end users. Academic librarians have argued that only when vendors develop systems that meet these criteria will electronic document delivery be a viable mechanism for fulfilling campus information needs. That position, along with economic pressures and technological developments, has resulted in the recent formation of entities such as CARL Systems, Inc. and Faxon Research Services, which offer enhanced search, retrieval, and delivery services. These services allow students, faculty, and campus administrators using computers in their local libraries or at their desks to electronically search databases containing tables of contents, and in some cases article abstracts, from thousands of journals. Furthermore, these services allow end users to obtain copies of articles the same day they are ordered. Timely electronic document delivery service will, in turn, enable and encourage librarians and academic faculty to rethink their approach to collection development. Interest will increase in moving toward access to (rather than acquisition of) articles in journals that have only moderate or little relation to the academic mission of the university. Libraries will begin to devote more of their budgets, used traditionally for collection development, to document delivery services-both commercial and

The Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 18, no. 6, p. 359-364 01993 by the Journal of Academic Librarianship. AlI rights reserved.

library consortium-based. This move will allow libraries to make “just-in-time” deliveries of information rather than “justin-case” purchases of information resources. The potential for significant shifts of dollars toward access is very real, if only because academic libraries find themselves in severe financial constraints.

Environmental Factors Several factors in the current academic environment are forcing librarians and, to a more limited extent, academic faculty to reassess their traditional ideas about collection development. First, more and more information is being produced, especially in the form of new journals. For example, physics literature has doubled in the last ten years. Second, the price of all information has been inflating at a double-digit rate for the past 15 years. In fact, during the 198Os, the inflation rate for library materials exceeded all other services and commodities used by higher education institutions, with the exception of employee fringe benefits.’ Third, higher education in general has been and will likely continue to be in a downsizing mode for some years. Consequently, academic libraries are canceling journal subscriptions and cutting back on the purchase of new monographs. Fourth, new technology (especially personal computers and networked terminals) has altered the campus information environment. Faculty and students’ understanding of and attitudes toward electronic document delivery are changing: in this process they are developing new expectations about what materials the library should acquire versus what should be merely accessible. Fifth, faculty and students generally read specific journal articles rather than entire journals. As commercial organizations make it faster and simpler to retrieve the full text of individual articles, libraries will increasingly rely on electronic access for journals of lesser importance, paying only for what is used. Several vendors have recently developed, or are in the process of developing, products designed to provide rapid delivery of documents, primarily journal articles, to end users. Table of contents/citation databases are accessed electronically. Users’ requests for listed articles are routed electronically to a supplier who scans the requested docu-

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ments and sends them back to users within 48 hours. Some products have the document images already stored at the user’s site so the article can be retrieved within minutes. In general, the products are designed for easy use by end users.

Criteria In describing and evaluating these products the following factors should be considered: How can these products be accessed and at what cost? How many journal titles are covered, in what disciplines, and how far back in time? How soon are the contents of the journal available in the database after the journal issue is received? Are all the contents of the journal issue included in the database, and how much information is available about the content of articles? How soon are the articles delivered, by what method, and at what cost? In addition to the above criteria, a library has to decide if it wishes to access documents remotely or on site. If a library chooses the remote access model, it pays for each document it requests plus a telecommunications port, because the table of contents/citation database, documents, and delivery service themselves are located off campus. On the other hand, a library can choose to acquire the citation database and the digital images of articles and make them available on site.

Remote Access Systems Four examples of document delivery services available via remote access will be examined: CARL Uncover 2; FRS’s Faxon Finder and Faxon Xpress; OCLC’s ContentsFirst and ArticleFirst; and RLG’s CitaDel. Carl UnCover 2. CARL Systems, Inc. introduced Uncover 2 in October 1991. Approximately 12,000 journals and general interest magazines, from a variety of disciplines, are represented in the database, with tables of contents available back to 1989. Within 24 hours of receipt of the journals in Denver, the tables of contents are keyed into the database. The journals are then housed in CARL Systems’ participating libraries. In September 1992, CARL Systems and B.H. Blackwell signed a letter of

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intent to jointly develop and market Uncover 2. CARL Systems and Blackwell hope to expand journal coverage to as many as 20,000 titles. Uncover 2 may be accessed in three ways: Access with password via Internet or public dial-up lines, providing single simultaneous use and unlimited use for $900 per year. Users compete for open ports. Standard gateway access via Internet through the local online catalog, or through the end user’s workstation, no password needed, for $5,000 per year. Users compete for open ports. Customized gateway access via Internet through the local online catalog for $10,000 per year. Introductory screens and menus can be tailored to match those of the local catalog. The database can also be customized to reflect local journal holdings information. Two dedicated ports are provided to assure access. Additional channels can be purchased for $2,500 each per year. Users may search Uncover 2 for journal titles, personal names, and keywords from article titles, journal titles, personal names, or subjects assigned to journal titles. Brief abstracts of the articles, if found on the table of contents page, are included and are searchable. The addition of Boolean capabilities in June 1992 provides more flexibility in searching. Only journal articles are included in Uncover 2; such features as book reviews, news briefs, editorials, and letters to the editor are not part of the coverage. Users may search Uncover 2 and opt to order an article as a part of the search. The average cost of an article is $10, which includes a $6.50 service fee and a variable copyright fee. Payment may be made by credit card or through a deposit account set up by the user or the library. Articles are guaranteed to be faxed within 24 hours, though many articles are transmitted more quickly. Once an article is requested, it is scanned at the CARL Systems contributing library holding the journal, then sent to a mainframe in Denver for transmission to the requestor. The image may be stored for future use only if the publisher has given permission to do so. This enables future delivery of the document within two hours.

CARL Systems uses the British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC) as a backup supplier when it is unable to fill a request from its member libraries. The mainframe in Denver automatically queries the BLDSC when member libraries cannot supply the article. If CARL Systems is unsuccessful in transmitting an article to the requestor after five attempts, the staff intervenes and calls to discover if there is a technical problem with the receiving fax. Faxon Finder and Faxon Xpress. Faxon Finder and Faxon Xpress are products of Faxon Research Services, Inc. (FRS) and are due to debut in January 1993. FRS receives most of its tables of contents and articles from a Canadian scientific institute and is still negotiating with suppliers for other journal titles. Copies of tables of contents are air expressed to the Philippines, where they are keyed and transmitted electronically back to FRS (in some cases within 24 hours) for inclusion in the Faxon Finder database. Approximately 11,000 journals and general interest magazines, covering a wide range of disciplines, are planned for inclusion, with coverage dating back to January 1990. In addition to articles, the database includes such journal contents as book reviews, news briefs, editorials, letters to the editor, and obituaries. Users may search Faxon Finder by author and by keywords in the journal or article title. Brief abstracts, which are included if they are found on the table of contents page, are also searchable. A user may limit a search by article type, language, issue volume or number, and date. The user may opt to request an article, which engages the Faxon Xpress software in the same session. The average cost of an article will be about $15, which includes an $11 service fee for up to 20 pages and a variable copyright fee. Payment may be made by credit card or through a deposit account set up by the library or the end user. Articles will be scanned by the supplying institutions and sent electronically to FRS, which will then send them to the requestor by fax or via Internet. Faxon Finder/Faxon Xpress may be accessed in two ways: 1. Access via Internet, or dial-up, with a dedicated port, using an office workstation or through the local online catalog. The dedicated port ensures that one user at a time can have

unlimited access at a cost of $5,000 per year. 2. Load the database on a local library/ institution mainframe, providing unlimited usage, for $40,000 per year. FRS plans to have secondary suppliers for its journal titles to be able to guarantee delivery of all articles. Users requesting articles from Faxon Xpress will be given a confirmation number and a toll free number to call when they do not receive an article.

4’Librarieswill begin to devote more of their budgets, used traditionally for collection development, to document delivery services....This move will allow libraries to make ‘just-in-time’ deliveries of information rather than ‘just-in-case’ purchases of information resources.” OCLC’s ContentsFirst and Article First. OCLC introduced ContentsFirst and ArticleFirst in September 1992. Over 11,000 journals, representing a wide variety of disciplines, are planned for inclusion in the two databases. Coverage of most journals dates back to January 1990. Other serial publications and annuals will also be covered. OCLC has taken a two-pronged approach to providing journal article information. ContentsFirst is strictly a table of contents database that allows searching by journal title, subject heading assigned to journal title, ISSN, CODEN, publisher, volume, and issue number. If an abstract is available on the table of contents page, it is included as part of the article citation in ContentsFirst (but is not searchable). OCLC has tables of contents keyed in Dublin, OH 48 to 72 hours after receiving the table of contents pages from publishers. OCLC purchases some tables of contents in electronic form from Faxon Research Services. ArticleFirst is a citation database for the same 11,000 journals covered in ContentsFirst. It enables the user to search by author, title and abstract keywords, journal title, publication date, issue description, language, and 12 article types. ContentsFirst and ArticleFirst may be accessed through OCLC’s two search

systems-FirstSearch and EPIC. Both FirstSearch, which is menu driven, and EPIC, which was designed for more sophisticated searches, are available through the Internet, dial-up access, or dedicated line to OCLC. Pricing for ContentsFirst and ArticleFirst varies with the type of search system and means of access used. FirstSearch pricing is based on a standard per-search fee (from $.50 to $.90), which is determined by the size of the block of searches purchased by the user’s library. (The library issues a password, entitling the user to a certain number of searches.) EPIC charges are based on connect time to the database ($28 per hour for ContentsFirst, $25 per hour for ArticleFirst) and on the number and format of citations/tables of contents retrieved. (Again, the library provides access through a password issued to the user.) Early in 1993, OCLC intends to provide FirstSearch and EPIC users with the option of ordering articles through its electronic interlibrary loan subsystem. OCLC has already begun to attach OCLC holdings symbols to records in several of its databases, and is also negotiating with commercial document suppliers to provide delivery by fax and mail. OCLC, which will route requests to document suppliers, hopes to line up multiple suppliers so that users will have a choice of delivery methods and pricing for each article needed. Speed of delivery and payment methods have not yet been established, although OCLC is hoping for delivery within 24 hours and payment by credit card or library deposit account set up with the supplier. Assistance with the ContentsFirst and ArticleFirst databases may be obtained by calling OCLC’s user contact desk. RLG’s CitaDel. CitaDel was introduced in August 1992 by the Research Libraries Group (RLG), Inc. CitaDel provides access to six popular commercial citation databases-Periodical Abstracts, Newspaper Abstracts, ABI/ INFORM, Dissertation Abstracts, Ei Page One, and PAIS-and four scholarly citation databases-Current Bibliography in the History of Technology, Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, Index to Hispanic Legislation, and Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals. RLG plans to add more databases in the near future. The databases are mounted on RLG’s mainframe and are accessed through RLIN, RLG’s information network, by

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On-Site Access Systems dedicated line, Internet, Sprintnet or dialThe following two examples, UMI’s up access. The cost to access each database varies, and is somewhat dependent ProQuest MultiAccess Systems and Adonis, are products available on-site. on the number of users. For instance, annual subscription prices range from UMI’s ProQuest MultiAccess Sys$600 for l-10,000 users for Index to tems. UMI has provided local access, Hispanic Legislation to $45,000 for lOO- via tapeload or CD-ROM workstation, plus simultaneous users for ABI/INto its popular databases for several years. FORM. A library may choose to provide Pricing for tapeloading onto the library’s its users with access to one or more of local mainframe and for CD-ROM subthe CitaDel databases. scriptions varies widely. The citation/ While users must presently use RLIN abstract databases may be searched by commands to search CitaDel, RLG has keywords, subject and other assigned successfully tested a server, compliant descriptors, and personal names. with 239.50, that will allow users to search using the familiar commands of their local library system, if it is com“Electronic access to and pliant with 239.50. Currently, CitaDel delivery of documents offers users may search across several datalibraries a different modelbases with a single statement, and keyword and Boolean search capabilities paying only for those individual can be used to retrieve all fields of the articles that are used at the record, including abstracts. time they are needed.” Document delivery is available from University Microfilms International (UMI) for articles identified in NewsUMI recently introduced its ProQuest paper Abstracts, Periodical Abstracts, and ABI/INFORM, and from Engineering In- MultiAccess Systems product line, which formation for Ei Page One. Articles from allows users searching UMI databases other databases must be requested through to retrieve requested documents via their library’s UMI IMAGEserver. The traditional interlibrary loan procedures. To request an article while in the IMAGEserver, which combines a highUMI databases or Ei Page One, users end PC, CD-ROM jukeboxes, and prokey in name, address, method of pay- prietary software, receives the request, locates the image of the article on the ment, and method of delivery information. The cheapest and quickest option jukebox, and routes the article to a lois to have the document delivered via cal or remote dedicated, high-resolution print server. Bit-mapped images of jourAriel, RLG’s document transmission software. Ariel documents usually ar- nal articles from 1,000 high-use titles rive within two working days, and de- are stored in and read from 240 CDs. livery by mail takes six to ten days. The image database is updated monthly with 10 to 15 new CDs. Coverage for Prices vary with the document supplier: the 1,000 titles dates back to 1988, with UMI currently charges $7.75 per article select coverage of 1987 issues. for Ariel or mail delivery, and EngiUMI charges libraries $.lO per printed neering Information currently charges page to cover copyright. Libraries may $9.50. Users may request fax delivery within 48 hours for a significantly higher opt to subsidize the charges or collect price: $17.75 from UMI and $24.50 from them from users. Libraries may also wish to offer fax Engineering Information. Libraries may choose to have users delivery of articles. This can be done pay for documents by credit card or, if with the addition of a UMI FAXserver, they decide to subsidize the cost, they which converts the requested document from a Group IV CCITT standard immay be invoiced on their RLIN account. RLG manages multiple accounts with age to a Group III image and routes it the document suppliers, presenting one to a remote fax machine/fax card. The actual page image files can also be routed monthly statement to the library. RLG provides support service to to users who have PCs capable of handling graphic images. CitaDel users through an 800 number In the near future, requests for arwhich is available 13 hours per day. RLG will also mediate with the docu- ticles not stored in the IMAGEserver, will be passed through electronically to ment suppliers, if there is a problem UMI’s Article Clearinghouse. The Artwith delivery.

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icle Clearinghouse provides photocopies of articles from over 14,000 journal titles. Standard delivery method is by mail at a cost of $8.50 to $10.50 per article, depending on the yearly usage of a deposit account, or $12.50 per article if the user/library does not have a deposit account. Same-day fax delivery costs an additional $10.00 per article; rush overnight service via courier costs an additional $5.25 per article plus $10.50 per courier package. Adonis. Adonis was introduced in mid1991 by a company of the same name. Bit-mapped images of articles from 500 journals, primarily from the biomedical field, are made available to libraries in the form of a CD-ROM subscription service. Adonis can be used on a standard 386 or 486 workstation with a CDROM disk drive or jukebox. Users may search by author, article title keywords, journal title, ISSN, publication year, volume or issue number, and article pagination. Once an article is located, users can preview it on the screen and output it to a laser printer. Each article has a copyright fee of $3.50 or $7.00, depending on whether the library owns a paper subscription of the journal in which the article appears. Adonis plans to drop this price differential in 1993, at which time the copyright fee will range from $6 to $8, depending on which publisher’s journal is being used. Data on printed articles are accumulated at each workstation and forwarded to the Adonis headquarters in Amsterdam four times a year for billing. Libraries may subsidize or pass along these royalty charges. A 1993 annual subscription to Adonis is $16,000. Every week subscribers receive a new CD-ROM containing over 10,000 articles pages. Adonis provides hotline phone support during East Coast business hours. Evaluation Little in the way of critical evaluation has been written about the electronic document delivery products and services described above, primarily because the products, with the exception of CARL Uncover 2 and Adonis, are just now being introduced. For the six products listed above, there is a wide range of factors and issues to consider. The five evaluative criteria presented earlier may help the librarian to weigh the advantages/disadvantages of each product.

Access to and cost of products. Most users are going to want easy access at the moment they have a need for the product. We have found that competing for open ports, one method of accessing Uncover 2, for example, can cause frustration when ports are busy. Even the dedicated port option offered by CARL Systems and FRS may be problematic if there is heavy usage within a particular institution. Costs for system usage and document delivery vary widely among these systems, and depend on a number of factors. In addition to per-article costs and subscription prices, the systems themselves require libraries to invest in a wide range of equipment-from PCs and fax boards to mainframe disk storage space, image servers, laser printers, and proprietary software. Journal coverage. Uncover 2, Faxon Finder, and ContentsFirst/ArticleFirst cover 11,OfKl to 12,000 journal titles. Although we have not seen a list of journal titles from Faxon or OCLC to compare with Uncover 2, Uncover 2 has been criticized for not including more research-oriented journal titles.* Two products, Adonis and CitaDel’s Ei Page One database, provide access to articles devoted to specific disciplines. CitaDel-with access to Periodical Abstracts, Newspaper Abstracts, ABI/INFORM, and Ei Page One-provides coverage for almost 6,500 serial titles. The 1,000 titles available through UMI’s Proquest MultiAccess Systems are the journals most academic libraries will consider staples for undergraduates. Uncover 2, Faxon Finder, and ContentsFirst/ArticleFirst have journal coverage that dates back two to three years. CitaDel has coverage back to 1986 for Periodical Abstracts, ABI/INFORM, and Ei Page One. Adonis coverage dates back only to the beginning of volume year 1991. ProQuest offers coverage back to 1987 for some titles, 1988 for others. One concern with journal coverage is whether backruns will be maintained. If a library cancels journal subscriptions to take advantage of one of these products, it will want assurance that coverage will always be retrospective to 1989, for example. Most vendors are sensitive to this concern and are committed to providing backruns, although they may have to create separate backfile databases for cost efficiency as the years accumulate. Another concern is whether

vendors will be able to maintain copyright agreements with publishers so that they can continue to cover currently offered titles. Currency of database. Uncover 2 has the most current coverage; the tables of contents are keyed in within 24 hours of receipt of the journal. FRS inputs tables of contents for weekly journals in Faxon Finder within 24 hours, but table of contents for titles other than weeklies take three to six days. Articles appear in ContentsFirst/ArticleFirst 48 to 72 hours after receipt of journal. The databases offered by CitaDel and the articles provided through ProQuest MultiAccess Systems all lag days and weeks behind the publication of a journal issue. Content coverage/searching capabilities. While Uncover 2 primarily covers journal articles, Faxon Finder and ContentsFirst/ArticleFirst cover articles plus such features as book reviews, editorials, letters to the editor, and news briefs. CitaDel’s UMI and Engineering Information products and the databases available through ProQuest MultiAccess Systems have abstracts and descriptors added to their citations, so that users can retrieve relevant articles with greater precision. Uncover 2, Faxon Finder, ContentsFirst/ArticleFirst, and Adonis provide access at the article level primarily by article title keywords, or, in the case of the first three, by keywords from a brief abstract (if one is available on the table of contents page.) None of these six products, however, allows users to search for concepts within the text itself, as they can in the ASCII full-text databases provided by IAC and UMI. Searching software is not yet available to locate terms in the bit-mapped page images found in Adonis or ProQuest. The articles are not an integral part of the citation database in any of the six products. In general, users must learn the unique search protocols of each product. Some of the databases can be loaded on the OPAC so that patrons can use the familiar commands of their local system: and RLG is working toward offering CitaDel through a 239.50 server. Delivery methods and turnaround time. Libraries that have in-house systems can offer users the shortest tumaround time for delivery: in particular, ProQuest’s MultiAccess Systems and

Adonis should be the fastest in this ama. Uncover 2 and Faxon Xpress seem to provide the most rapid remote delivery. Uncover 2 occasionally has problems locating the articles from one of its member library suppliers, so that there is a short delay while another library or the BLDSC is contacted to supply. CitaDel offers 48-hour delivery, but this requires the user/institution to have Ariel, RLG’s proprietary document delivery software, or to pay a significant price premium for fax delivery.

Issues to be Examined Our intent in examining these electronic document delivery systems is to provide a thumbnail sketch of selected options available to support instruction and scholarship on a timely basis. One or more of these options may serve as a supplement to local collections-thus providing access to journal articles at a cost less than ownership-or as a substitute for costly subscriptions that may have little use but are still needed. In any case, it is important that institutions examine a number of issues before deciding if electronic document delivery is a workable option and before selecting a document delivery vendor. Should the institution rely on remote access systems as vehicles to search citation databases and order articles when they are needed, or should it use systems that supply local citation databases and accompanying article files for a select number of journals? The former “just-in-time” approach places more of the financial burden for system hardware and software on the vendor, but the perarticle delivery cost will be higher, often in the $10-15 range. The latter approach requires the institution to make a larger initial investment in computers, mass storage, and the databases themselves, all of which are then available “just in case” students and faculty need them. How do these commercial electronic delivery services fit into the library’s and the institution’s electronic information services portfolio? How do these document delivery systems complement cooperative efforts to fulfill campus information needs through resource sharing? Public institutions in several states such as Indiana, Florida, and Illinois are using

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the same automation system in all libraries, and creating mechanisms for expedited electronic delivery of articles by telefacsimile. The goal is to allow students and faculty at any campus to use a common system with common commands to search the holdings of all other state campuses, and to obtain needed documents in a timely manner through resource sharing. How should commercial document delivery services by administered by the library? With the growing availability of PCs and the development of campus networks, should students and faculty be able to search for article citations and abstracts from their desks? Should they be able to have articles delivered to their desks? If so, should the library subsidize this option? Or, would it be better to allow users to search the tables of contents of these commercial databases but then have them request documents through the library (giving the library the option of how to acquire the documents)? How can the library minimize investing more than once for access to the same information? Should the library pass along costs to the users and, if so, which ones? In selecting a commercial vendor who provides document delivery or, for that matter, in sharing resources among a group of libraries, how is copyright handled to remain within the “fair use” provision of the law? How should the library choose a system from among the options? The lack of standards in a relatively young industry has resulted in a variety of search interfaces and an electronic tower of Babylon. When choosing an electronic document delivery service, it is important to assess the

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effectiveness of interfaces and search capabilities-e.g., does it include Boolean capabiliti.es? It is also important to determine the level of enduser training that will be needed and the local capability for providing that training. (End-user training could be reduced if vendors implemented the 239.50 standard for communication between information retrieval systems.) .

Is now the time to invest in the system? All of the services described above are less than two years old. The library will need to assess the risk involved with making a commitment to an unproven electronic document delivery system.

Conclusion Academic libraries are in the midst of a transition. They are still expected to acquire the printed word-a media that is more than 500 years old-while simultaneously seeking out electronic information sources-a media that is far from mature. The unrelenting inflation of library material prices, especially journals, and the need for capital to invest in new technologies is creating enormous economic pressures. Higher education institutions and their libraries need to carefully assess the complex issues involved in providing justin-case versus just-in-time information access. Libraries traditionally subscribe to print-format journals on the assumption that someone at some point may need the information contained within their covers. However, students and faculty generally consult selected articles, not complete issues of a journal. Furthermore, the library that purchases a subscription to serve 8 historians pays the same price as the library serving 20 historians. Electronic access to and delivery of documents offer libraries a dif-

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ferent model-paying only for those individual articles that are used at the time they are needed. Faculty and scholarly societies should evaluate changes occurring within the scholarly information system. Some already have begun. The American Physical Society’s Task Force in Electronic Information Systems, for example, has recommended the development of a single electronic physics library or database containing books, articles, numerical data, computer programs, and other information to support the scientific community (which it predicts will switch primarily to electronic media and networks in the next few decades).3 Also, the publishing community should examine more closely copyright, compensation, and standards as they relate to electronic publishing and electronic document delivery. Karen Hunter has identified issues that need attention in a recent issue of Scholarly Publishing Today.4

Finally, college and university librarians, faculty, and administrators need to re-examine the ownership-vs.-access question and, in the process, determine the appropriate level of funding needed to support the mission of the institution. References ‘Inflation Measures for Schools & Colleges: 1991 Update, 11th ed., (Washington, D.C.: Research Associates of Washington, September, 1991). (Formerly published separately as Higher Education Price Index and Elementary-Secondary School Price Indexes.) *Carol Tenopir, “Eight Tips for Cost Effective Searching,” Library Journal 117 (October 1, 1992). 3“Report of the APS Task Force on Electronic InformationSystems,“BulletinoftheAmerican Physical Society 36 (April, 1991). 4Karen Hunter, “Document Delivery: Issues for Publishers,“Scholarly Publishing Today 1 (March/April, 1992). V