One (Electronic) User at a Time, Please

5 July 2007 at 3:45 pm 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

Remember the old days when you’d go the library for a book or journal and find it checked out? (Student readers: the “library” was a large building with books and print journals — hardcopies, basically — that users could borrow and return. Ask your parents or grandparents about this.) Now that most journals are available electronically, on the web, you can get the article you need regardless of who else is using the same item. Or can you?

I clicked today for an article from the American Journal of Sociology (don’t ask) and got the following error:

The institutional subscription you are using to access this protected content allows for only one user at a time. Someone at your organization is currently using this subscription. Please try again later. Otherwise, after 30 minutes of inactivity by the first user, this subscription will be available to you.

Now, how do I find this other user and pester him or her to quit?

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

Americans and Caffeine History of Organizations Bleg from J.C. Spender

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. REW  |  6 July 2007 at 9:07 am

    It will be unlikely that you can cajole or shame a sociologist into surrendering access to Mother Journal, even if you could find who it is. A threat of physical violence may work.

    Better yet is the economist’s solution. For only $100 per year your university could upgrade from the lowest level of electronic subscription (one at a time, please) to a subscription with concurrent users. At your marginal wage, this would be well worth the expense for Mizzou.

  • 2. Kevin Carson  |  10 July 2007 at 2:33 am

    My God! The intellectual property apologists are right: it isn’t non-exclusive after all.

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