MADISON — The University of Wisconsin-Madison libraries have negotiated a group license agreement on behalf of all UW System libraries to receive all 26 World Wide Web journals published by the American Chemical Society, UW System President Katharine C. Lyall announced today.

Negotiating System-wide licenses, instead of licenses for individual campuses, allows wider access to journals at a lower cost per campus. The agreement with the American Chemical Society will serve as a model to begin establishing such system-wide licenses for high-use electronic journals.

“This is an important step for the UW System and all Wisconsin citizens and businesses which rely on University libraries,” Lyall said. “The information-technology revolution has forever changed the way libraries conduct their business. Aggressive pursuit of group-licensing options will be a key factor for UW System libraries in the future if they are to maintain their margin of excellence.

“The health of UW System libraries,” Lyall continued, “is directly tied to the health of Wisconsin’s network of public libraries, its public and private school libraries, and those used by the Wisconsin Technical College System as well as private colleges and universities in the state.

“This is a milestone contract,” she concluded. “My heartiest congratulations and warmest thanks are extended to Louis Pitschmann and Ken Frazier of UW-Madison for securing it.”

Pitschmann, associate director for collection development and preservation in the General Library System at the UW-Madison, and Frazier, GLS director, negotiated the license. “The license agreement with the American Chemical Society is among the first of its kind,” Frazier said. I am confident that the ACS Web Editions will be heavily used.” Frazier estimated the savings to the UW System to be nearly $183,000 or about 45% for one year, compared to what all campuses would have had to pay separately.

The Madison campus is the statewide server of the journals for the University of Wisconsin System. Responses around the state have been positive.

UW-River Falls Chancellor Gary Thibodeau voiced strong approval of the agreement: “Having all titles available Systemwide is a splendid example of applying the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ to the 21st Century. We hope this special project will provide Wisconsin with other significant electronic titles in future years.”

Faculty also chimed in their support.

“The journals represented in this list encompass a wide spectrum of cutting edge research and general news sources in chemistry,” said Steve Anderson, a UW-Whitewater chemistry professor. The General Library System has been a pioneer in group-licensing of digital publications and databases. In 1995, on behalf of 16 major universities nationwide, including those in the Big Ten, the UW-Madison libraries negotiated the first group license agreement for a major database.

“The University of Wisconsin System is home to some of the most progressive digital library projects in the U.S.,” said Robert D. Bovenschulte, ACS director of publications. “We’re proud to be part of their efforts to reinvent the academic research library by taking advantage of the improved speed and quality provided by this medium.”


Peter D. Fox – (608) 262-6448
Ken Frazier – (608) 262-2600
Don Johnson – (608) 262-0076