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Paper: Astronomical Interlibrary Cooperation: The Long and Difficult Plan for Coordinated Acquisition of Journals – the Italian Case
Volume: 377, Library and Information Services in Astronomy V: Common Challenges, Uncommon Solutions
Page: 397
Authors: Gasperini, A.; Abrami, L.; Olostro Cirella E.
Abstract: Until 2002, the Italian astronomical observatories were independent research institutes. Their libraries, though different in their origins and history, shared common bibliographical materials, users and aims. This situation prompted a first experience of unofficial cooperation between astronomical observatory libraries, which produced outstanding results, in particular a detailed survey of the nature, cost and use of scientific journals. Starting from 2002, when the 12 observatories merged into a single institution, the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the experience of cooperation between the libraries became official. The INAF headquarters, in fact, has recently established the Library Documentary and Archive Service of the National Institute for Astrophysics (SBDA-INAF) in order to have a centralized astronomical bibliographical service and to promote cooperation among libraries. At the end of 2004, following the INAF rearrangement, 5 Institutes of the National Research Council (CNR) joined the still new organization introducing further complications. In this work we explain all the problems faced by a working group to elaborate an efficient plan of coordinated acquisition of journals: the difficulties in coordinating 17 different sites distributed over the whole national territory, the not so easy negotiation with the publishers, the choice between e-only or print & online and, last but not least, the psychological impact on the scientific community.

The cooperation among Italian astronomical libraries was a plan begun many years ago and has continued through various events over the years. This presentation takes into consideration the various stages of our project focusing on some crucial aspects.

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