David McCallum, Executive Director, CARL/ABRC, firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTRODUCTION CARL/ABRC was established in 1976 and consists of 27 university libraries plus the National Library of Canada, and the Canada Institute for Scientif- ic and Technical Information. Membership is institutional, and is open primarily to libraries of Canadian universities which have doctoral gradu- ates in both the arts and the sciences. The mission of CARL/ABRC is to increase the capacity of individual member libraries to provide effective support and encouragement to advanced study and research at the national, regional and local levels. In collaboration with the academic community, this mission will be achieved through the pursuit of long-term programmes in the following areas: information policy; resource sharing; and scholarly communication. For more information on the Association, please see ATTACHMENT 1. LIBRARIES AND THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY The business of libraries is to provide access to published information regardless of format. Libraries have been, and continue to be early and enthusiastic adopters of technologies which facilitate this objective. These include microforms; teletype, then electronic mail (to speed interli- brary loan requests); CD-ROM, facsimile, and on-line systems. Libraries are among the leaders in harnessing the power of the Internet through Campus Wide Information Systems (CWIS) and Freenets. Libraries have every reason to cheer the prospect of a national, high speed, high capacity telecommuni- cations network as a potential boon to their ability to assist users in tracking down and obtaining information effectively and economically. CARL/ABRC itself is an active member of CANARIE Inc., and its members are involved in a variety of network-based projects. However, it is because of their experience with, and their knowledge of information systems, of the information industry, and of information policy that librarians cannot help but look askance at some of the more grandiose claims made both for the capabilities of an information highway, and for the speed of its construction. Librarians understand that an impressive technology is but one of many links in a chain of developments that must function together for services based upon it to be successful (the experi- ence with TELIDON in the 1980's comes to mind as an example of a much bal- lyhooed innovation whose ultimate utility was very limited). LIBRARIES - PAST AND FUTURE If it is true that we cannot understand the present if we do not understand the past, it is also true that we cannot position ourselves successfully for the future if today's realities are not appreciated. In considering the context in which libraries operate, it is useful to consider the following two paradigms: 1. The library paradigm of the past Information is entirely print-based, and libraries strive for local self sufficiency by developing the biggest and best collections affordable. 2. The library paradigm of the future In this utopian vision, current and archival information in a multitude of formats is entirely electronic, and is available through sophisticat- ed networks to businesses, educational institutions, and homes. Librar- ies (or similar institutions) operate learning centres, add value to information through advanced indexing techniques, and assist information seekers with only the most complex searches. Libraries of today find themselves in the extremely challenging position of operating somewhere between the extremes illustrated by these two para- digms. For example: * Despite the fact that today's information is becoming available in many formats, print will predominate for many years to come. * Although the past paradigm of ownership is moving to one of access and sharing, the mechanisms to facilitate this transition are complex and their development is proceeding slowly. * The present period is characterized by steep increases in the extent and cost of information, a trend that shows little sign of abating. * Fundamental issues in the area of copyright remain to be resolved. RESEARCH LIBRARIES Through their extensive collections and services, research libraries (i.e. libraries that support research within institutions of higher education) have long been central to the pursuit of pure and applied knowledge throughout the world, and are recognized by their users as being as essen- tial to the advancement of learning as laboratories and other research facilities. Canada is a net importer of scholarly literature. For example, only around 4% of the world's scientific literature is produced by Canadians. It is therefore vital that Canadian academics have ready access to the world's published research information. Not only must this access be convenient and fast, but it must be reasonably priced, or it will not be used. The critical challenge facing research libraries today is the world wide proliferation and runaway prices of scholarly publications, coupled with the problem of copyright. CARL/ABRC believes it is essential for the Advis- ory Council to appreciate the ramifications of this challenge, and its impact on the nation's knowledge infrastructure. Unless it is successfully addressed, Canada's ability to use the information highway as tool to fa- cilitate the exchange of information for learning and training will be severely constrained. THE CRISIS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION The crisis in scholarly communication is a global issue that cannot be successfully addressed by research libraries alone. The overriding problem is the increasing inability of research libraries to acquire the materials required to support research in their institutions. The reasons for this situation are complex. They derive in part from the fact that current practices in academe (e.g. hiring, tenure granting pro- cedures, etc.) promote the production of a rising volume of increasingly expensive published works. In addition, most prestigious journals require that contributors give up their copyrights in return for publishing their submissions; these works become articles in journals which are then sold back to universities, through their libraries, at a handsome profit to the publishers. Another aspect of the problem is the economic stranglehold on scholarly communication exerted by a small group of powerful European companies which produce many of the world's most prestigious academic journals containing information which is unavailable anywhere else at any price. In recent years, these companies have taken advantage of their monopolistic position by charging what the market will bear, and more. In order to accommodate these price increases, research libraries throughout the world have been obliged to cut back on their journal subscriptions and plunder their book budgets, thus leading to an inexorable deterioration of their collections. It is sometimes argued that the application of electronic communications technology will solve most scholarly communication problems by allowing academics to develop their own journals which will bypass the library com- pletely. While this scenario may or may not come to pass in the long term, it is unrealistic for the present and foreseeable future. A recent study by the Association of American Universities showed that in the area of scien- tific, technical and medical publishing, only 20% of this information will be available in a fully electronic mode by the year 2015. A full 50% of the published output in these areas is expected to remain in paper form. More- over, predictions of the rapid demise of the current bibliographic system rarely address such crucial issues as appropriate editorial control, relia- ble distribution mechanisms, user acceptance of the technology, charging and copyright, information integrity, and archiving. The idea that a widespread program of digitization would greatly accelerate the change over from a paper mode of publishing to an electronic one is superficially attractive; however, the availability of text in electronic form is a necessary, though hardly sufficient condition for such a multi- faceted transition. The world did not come to rely on oil as its basic energy source simply because of a plentiful supply. Massive shifts were required over a long period time throughout the economy and society as whole, as new technologies of all kinds were designed and implemented. But information is a far more complex material than oil. Consider, for example, that publishers affiliated with CANCOPY, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, will not even allow it to confer digitization rights to licensees. This means that the rights to digitize entire works outside of the public domain would have to be secured from each and every publisher individually. Furthermore, their response would almost certainly be negative, as publish- ers are understandably concerned at the ease with which electronic informa- tion can be duplicated and widely distributed. Another potential solution to the scholarly communication crisis is a sys- tematic national, perhaps even international, coordinated journals cancel- lation process. At least one institution in a given region would subscribe to journals needed by the others; all would then share their collections to a greater degree than is now the case. This approach, while attractive in some respects, would entail considerable logistical complexity, require considerably more sophisticated sharing mechanisms, and oblige many insti- tutions to become "information poor" in various subject areas. Perhaps most ominously, it would prompt publishers of the cancelled material to counter the negative impact on their market share by raising subscription rates even higher. It is also unrealistic at the present time for Canadian universities to rely on the collections of national institutions such as the National Li- brary of Canada and the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical In- formation (CISTI) to provide what their libraries cannot. The collections and services of the National Library have been severely reduced due to federal budget restrictions; CISTI has been obliged by federal policies and those of its parent body (the National Research Council of Canada) to be- come a commercial information provider whose rates are so high that use of its excellent services by non-profit organizations is in jeopardy. It should be added that the trend to view information primarily as a com- mercial commodity has led to drastic increases in the cost of Statistics Canada data, information essential to research on how rapid social change is reshaping our country. And as government departments move from paper to electronic publishing, the Depository Services Program is finding it in- creasingly difficult to carry out its mandate of providing federal informa- tion to the nation's libraries. COPYRIGHT Copying by students and scientific researchers for convenience (as opposed to copying to avoid purchase) is a common occurrence in CARL/ABRC member institutions, and is central to the operation of the interlibrary loan system. While the Association supports fair compensation for creators of information, it strongly believes that certain types of copying, when non- commercial research instead of profit is the objective, should not trigger compensatory payments to copyright holders. CARL/ABRC sees no reason why Canada should put itself at a competitive disadvantage by creating a legis- lative framework more restrictive than those of other industrialized coun- tries (e.g. the United States of America), and has joined other education and library organizations in vigorously putting this case forward to vari- ous government consultative groups. Much to the chagrin of the Canadian educational and library communities, the federal government of the day decided to introduce only certain aspects of revised copyright legislation ("Phase I") in 1988, though swift intro- duction of the second wave of amendments ("Phase II") was promised. This phase, which is expected to include such vital aspects as exceptions for library and educational uses of copyright material, has been eagerly await- ed ever since. Despite the fact that electronic networking technology is increasingly used for library and distance education applications, Phase II is not expected to address these uses. Since it is virtually inevitable that yet another legislative round will be necessary to provide legal guidelines in this regard, it is vital that Phase II is swiftly and successfully concluded with appropriate library and educational exceptions, and that the question of copyright in the context of electronic information exchange be addressed in Canada as soon as possible. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CARL/ABRC is responding to the scholarly communication and copyright chal- lenges on a number of fronts: * In light of the scope and complexity of the scholarly communication cri- sis and its serious implications for the ability of Canadian universities to perform their research and educational missions, CARL/ABRC is recom- mending to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) that a group of University Presidents, senior administrators, and Library Directors, mandated to study these issues and to propose solutions suited to the Canadian context, be established as soon as possible. * CARL/ABRC has recently endorsed the Data Liberation initiative of the Social Science Federation of Canada (SSFC). Based on our own Associa- tion's successful Data Consortia project, SSFC hopes to put in place an arrangement that would allow Canadian universities to pay a reasonable annual fee in return for access to all electronic files published by Statistics Canada. A proposal along these lines is being studied by the Treasury Board of Canada. * In the area of copyright, CARL/ABRC is working with the AUCC to ensure that Canada's long delayed second phase of intellectual property legisla- tion contains adequate exceptions for the education and library communi- ties. Such exceptions would be essential precedents for reasonable access to the electronic products that are already appearing, and are sure to proliferate over time. CARL/ABRC urges the Advisory Council to consider adopting the following recommendations: 1. In its deliberations, the Council should keep in mind that the public interest is not necessarily served by a model of the world that is al- most exclusively market-driven. If governments wish to promote the eco- nomic and cultural growth of their nations in the emerging information society, they must be prepared to provide adequate support to such es- sential non-profit areas as learning and training, and not rely on poli- cies designed primarily to protect business or recover the costs of public services. Indeed, in a recent Gallup poll, it was found that Canadians were far more interested in having access to educational serv- ices on the information highway than such commercial applications as home shopping. 2. The Council is also urged to be wary of purely technological solutions to complex information problems. The mere presence of an effective in- formation carrier does not solve all of the challenges surrounding the creation of, and access to information. 3. The Council must realize that libraries will be coping with a world in which traditional paper-based publication will co-exist with a multi- plicity of electronic modes for a very long time. 4. Given the reality of point 3, the Council should not expect that funding for such worthwhile initiatives as experimenting with innovative infor- mation production and dissemination methods can be derived from existing library budgets, which are already stretched to and beyond their limits. New projects need new money. 5. The Council should call for the swift introduction of fair and equitable Copyright legislation, with appropriate exceptions for the library and education communities. 6. The Council is urged to support the Data Liberation initiative of the Social Science Federation of Canada (please see ATTACHMENT 2). [THIS ATTACHMENT OMITTED HERE. -mt] 7. The Council is requested to ensure that Canada's library community is formally represented on any advisory bodies which may be proposed to continue its work. ATTACHMENT 1 Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Association des bibliotheques de recherche du Canada (ABRC) MISSION STATEMENT (Adopted by the Membership on June 15, 1993) The mission of CARL/ABRC is to increase the capacity of individual member libraries to provide effective support and encouragement to advanced study and research at the national, regional and local levels. In collaboration with the academic community, this mission will be achieved through the pursuit of long-term programmes in the following areas: 1. Information Policy; 2. Resource Sharing; and 3. Scholarly Communication. PRINCIPLES (Adopted by the membership on Nov. 9, 1993) Access to Information: The Association supports and promotes the right of all individuals to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativi- ty and intellectual activity. Creating Knowledgeable Information Users: The Association believes re- searchers and students should have the necessary skills to be independent information seekers and users. Research Libraries -- A Strategic National Resource: The Association recog- nizes the collective human and material resources of its members as cons- tituting a strategic national information resource. Resource Sharing: The Association endorses the sharing of resources among its members as an activity essential to providing access to information required by the scholarly community. Scholarly Communication: The Association has a fundamental role in facil- itating and enhancing the process of scholarly communication. CARL/ABRC MEMBER INSTITUTIONS (as of September 1994) University of Alberta National Library of Canada University of British Columbia University of New Brunswick University of Calgary University of Ottawa Carleton University Universite du Quebec a Montreal CISTI (Canada Institute for Queen's University at Kingston Scientific and Technical Information) University of Regina Concordia University University of Saskatchewan Dalhousie University Universite de Sherbrooke University of Guelph Simon Fraser University Universite Laval University of Toronto University of Manitoba University of Victoria McGill University University of Waterloo McMaster University University of Western Ontario Memorial University of Newfoundland University of Windsor Universite de Montreal York University EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: David L. McCallum Morisset Library, Room 602 University of Ottawa 65 University Street Ottawa, Ontario KlN 9A5 TELELPHONE: (613) 564-5864 FACSIMILE: (613) 564-5871 INTERNET: CARL@ACADVM1.UOTTAWA.CA
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