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Library consortia in France [Paper presented at the AIDA-ECIA international seminar: Electronic publications. A problem of quality and access. Siena, Certosa di Pontignano, 1999-10-05]

Publication Date
  • Fa. Co-Operation.
  • Hn. E-Journals.
  • Ed. Intellectual Property: Author'S Rights
  • Ownership
  • Copyright
  • Copyleft.
  • Law


The concept of consortium has been expanding in the United States since the beginning of the 1990's as a way to confront the tremendous increase of subscription costs to electronic journals. This increase was due to monopoly abuse. The widespread dissemination of electronic journals will lead to the following developments: author's right - different from copyright - but both will be excluded by contract law; document consultation and not document preservation could become the sole object of negotiations; contracts management will take a growing place in our professions because of the variety of rights they propose and the financial risk and weight they involve. The consortia, very developed in English-speaking and Nordic countries, have not been adopted in France for several reasons. It is the Common Documentation Service of the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, by leading the way in negotiations with Elsevier, and using the methods developed in the framework of consortia, that created the first library French consortium with the Angers, Aix-Marseille II and Nancy I universities. Contract negotiations and consortia will certainly be the unique means to manage digital information sources. A new information economy and new management methods will predominate. They will create an unstable, disconcerting, even dangerous area.

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