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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
A Problem of Access
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0260  Monday, 5 May 2008

From:		Gabriel Egan <
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 >
Date:		Saturday, 3 May 2008 12:57:20 +0100
Subject: 19.0254 A Problem of Access
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0254 A Problem of Access

Jack Heller writes:

 >Apparently, an individual also cannot
 >subscribe to Project Muse. I'd welcome
 >some good, immediate suggestions for
 >how to resolve this.

And Hardy writes:

 >. . .  my University has not subscribed to the
 >articles, a service that costs $25,000 per year.

The short-term solution is to get someone who has access to fetch the 
stuff. (Jack, you are welcome to send me the details in case I already 
have these items ;-)

The medium-term solution is to show a senior dean a list of the places 
that she likes to think of your institution as being equals and rivals 
to, and that have already subscribed to the resource you want. Project 
Muse's website gives this information under 'Current Subscribers'. 
Explaining that not having Project Muse will make students (especially 
graduate and research students) choose the rival institutions can be a 
powerfully persuasive move.

The long-term solution is for US institutions to form consortia so that 
they present the providers of these digital resources with a larger 
unified market and drive the prices down. In the UK the Joint 
Information Systems Committee represents all university-level users and 
makes remarkable deals on big digital products. The relative 
fragmentation of the US education system is a barrier in this regard.

The ideal solution, of course, is Open Acess: nobody should give the 
results of their publicly-funded research to an organization, even a 
not-for-profit one like Project Muse (via publication in a commercial 
journal), that sells it on. This knowledge already belongs to the 
citizens who paid for it.

Gabriel Egan

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