The UK Serials Group (UKSG) has announced that 20 publishers have now signed up to its TRANSFER Code of Practice. TRANSFER provides best practice guidelines and outlines responsibilities to ensure that journal content remains easily accessible in the event of a change of ownership. Library and reader access to over 8,000 journals will now be protected in transfers between publisher signatories.
Major signatories to the code include STM publishers Elsevier, Nature and Wiley. According to UKSG, the guidelines are equally appropriate to smaller publishers. Those signed up so far include the American Diabetes Association, Earthscan and the Rural Sociological Society. UKSG's objective is to persuade all publishers of the importance and value of endorsing the TRANSFER code.
TRANSFER was developed by a cross-party working group to resolve problems encountered by subscribers when journals move from one publisher to another. Many critical issues, such as continuity of access during a transfer or perpetual ongoing access to archives, were previously a grey area in journal sale agreements. This resulted in frustration for end users and librarians as key e-journals became temporarily or even permanently unavailable despite licence terms.
Regulations, guidelines and other institutional frameworks
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