20.443 publishing the MED for free

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 08:16:03 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 443.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 06:26:48 +0000
         From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
         Subject: Re: 20.429 new on WWW (for free): Middle English Dictionary

Willard et al,

Is this liberation a first?

Will there be others?

How is the financing of library maintenance costs done? I can
understand the accounting and the cost
recovery model for creating a digital collection. I don't quite know
how the business model works for
maintenance of access.

In Canada I suspect it could work as a portion of TVS (tax on value
of service) for connectivity [i.e. some
of the public funds are recouped from the carriers offering
connectivity services]. It then becomes a civic
and good government duty to maintain non-subscription access. "Free"
access is for me something a bit
different than non-subscription access. Free access is where the
connectivity is deemed a public good and
is offered via such institutions as public libraries. Non-sub or no
fee access is what is within
immediate institutional control. The number of stations offering free
access is a matter of squeezing
resources from funders (both governmental and non-governmental).
There is a bricks and mortar aspect to
creating free access (hardware and connectivity necessitate a
material infrastructure).

Congrats to the Univeristy of Michigan for a spirited and inspiring example!!!

> Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 06:08:50 +0000
> From: "Perry Willett" <pwillett_at_UMICH.EDU>
> >
> Forwarding from Paul Schaffner:
> -----------
> [Feel free to x-post.]
> The University of Michigan announces that under new arrangements worked out
> between the University Press and the University Library, all components of
> the online "Middle English Compendium," including the online version of the
> Middle English Dictionary, are now freely accessible without fee, password,
> or any other impediment to access:
> <http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/m/mec>
> The MED has hitherto been available only on a subscription or
> password-protected basis, till the Press recouped its substantial
> contribution to the original conversion costs. This has now been
> accomplished, and we are grateful for their agreement that the
time has come
> to liberate it.
> It was always our hope and intention to open the MED when we could, both in
> the general interest of public access (to which as a public university
> library we are dedicated), and with the expectation that open access will
> facilitate eventual interlinking amongst sibling dictionaries and between
> MED and other projects (e.g. online editions, which are now free to link
> lexical lookups to the appropriate MED entry).
> The official press release is here:
> http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=3125
> pfs
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Paul Schaffner | PFSchaffner@umich.edu | http://www.umich.edu/~pfs/
> 316-C Hatcher Library N, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1205
> --------------------------------------------------------------------

Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
Everyone is a little bit crazy; everyone at some time has a learning
No one is ever a little bit positive.
Received on Fri Feb 09 2007 - 13:27:08 EST

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