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Publisher–library relationships in the digital environment

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STM represents 250 publishing companies and learned societies, and recognizes that the advent of digital networks affects authors, publishers, librarians, and readers. Dialogue between publishers and librarians is essential to creating the sense of partnership and open-mindedness needed to meet the future needs of scholarship and research. Publishers and librarians have complementary roles and responsibilities, serving the same needs and facing similar challenges. The interests of publishers and librarians need to be rebalanced in order to seize the benefits of digital information flow. Legislation provides a framework of copyright, privacy, competition, and consumer law that protects against misuse while facilitating the flow of information from author to reader. If laws need to be amended, such changes should be made on the basis of the mutual agreement of all members of the community. There is much to be achieved without legislative change. Neither publishers nor librarians should shy away from the issues that divide them, especially the scope of fair use and the exchange of copyright information between libraries. A more detailed analysis of the impact of copyright exemptions is needed. The development of a predictable licensing environment and the testing of new business models requires co-operation between publishers and librarians, and leads to better mutual understanding. STM seeks dialogue with libraries and with other members of the research and scholarly communities in order to meet the challenges, opportunities, and expectations created by the digital environment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-07-01

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.
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