The Revolution of Electronic Content

I was looking for an academic paper from 2008 that was referenced somewhere. The title sounded interesting, though the abstract made me doubt if the work would really be interesting for me. Anyway, I checked where the paper was published and found out the name and reference.

I then logged on to my university library's website, to check if the work was available from the "digitial library". It seemed no license was owned, and no direct access was possible. I then filled out a form that was provided, and opted in to actually pay money to have a copy sent.

About a week later an email in my mailbox sadly stated that the university had no access to this journal, but the state's library in the same town would have a license allowing me to get hold of the paper.

Walking into the library I realised they had changed their member regulations. Right now an annual fee of 30 Euros needs to be payed, for getting the library pass renewed. Not wanting to pay that much I asked a friend to actually help me download the paper. After some hassle we finally got through to the publisher's website that then showed some administrative status text saying something about a config.txt that needed to be set up.

Inquiring at the front desk confirmed my fears. There's no quick solution to my problem. I then was told that if they have a license, my library should have one, too, so I set off and asked there again. Now in person. They actually have a institute that only recently was integrated into the university which has a license. I was told I could take the bus and drive out of down to enquire there. Not wanting to invest another two hours on this quest, and assuming that they would have the same technical access issues I gave up. I asked the lady though if they can't just order a copy and send it to me. She said, while it was technically possible, license restrictions would render this impossible.

Now, I'm a frequent user of interlending as my university's library has only few books on CJK, Chinese... I go online, search through the inter-library catalogue, and order the book, which, a week later then, shows up at my local library. Actually renewing is the only thing what is different to ordinary local books and that really bugs me sometimes. But then, they can just send me the exemplar. Sadly that does not apply to electronic copies, that do not suffer the same physical restrictions of ordinary books. But thanks, I'll stick to books if possible.


had similar problem but didn't go to nearly as much trouble. I was able to find a copy lacking the graphs of data, which would have helped a lot for my research paper. And I just felt bitter and annoyed that someone out there in the internetz was withholding those graphs (solely used for educational purposes) JUST to tease me into paying $30 for the official publication!!

It's actually quite ridiculous in fact.