GPO’s strategic plan creates a mission of providing “free and ready public access” to electronic documents while distributing electronic documents “on a cost recovery basis.”
The following article, while addressing issues raised by the Google library project, gives a publisher’s view of making content available for free and for sale at the same time.
Presses Have Little to Fear From Google By MICHAEL JENSEN. Chronicle of Higher Education Section: The Chronicle Review, July 8, 2005 Volume 51, Issue 44, Page B0 (Subscription Required)
Jensen is director of publishing technologies for the National Academies Press (NAP) and director of Web communications for the National Academies.
The key points that I believe are relevant to our discussions of the future FDLP, GPO’s strategic plan, and the Future Digital System are:
- He notes that “The functional differences in how a book is made available online are profound, with varying levels of ease of reading, copying, repackaging, extracting, storing, and using as an archival copy.”
- He describes the “page-image” approach that NAP uses to display pages and maintain sales (the same approach Google is taking for its library scanning project) as being “non-optimal” and notes that these pages
…aren’t conducive to extended reading. They are slow, semi-fuzzy, clumsy, not copyable, and hard to work with — but they are fine for giving readers a sense of a book. For publishers, they’re the best of print and digital worlds.
This leads me to the key question:
Will GPO adopt similar “non-optimal” technologies for its “free and ready access” and only provide fully-functional digital documents “on a cost recovery basis”?
I’m sure we would all like to hear that GPO has no such plans and will ensure that it will not use such disabling technologies in order to be able to sell non-disabled content.
GPO’s strategic plan: A strategic vision for the 21st century
National Academies Press (http://www.nap.edu/)
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