Very cool - American Physical Society offers free access to public libraries

This APS rocks!
Here's the press release from PAMnet:



Ridge, NY, 28 July 2010: The American Physical Society (APS) announces a new public access initiative that will give readers and researchers in public libraries in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide this access at no cost to participating public libraries, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding.

APS Publisher Joseph Serene observed that "public libraries have long played a central role in our country's intellectual life, and we hope that through this initiative they will become an important avenue for the general public to reach our research journals, which until now have been available only through the subscriptions at research institutions that currently cover the significant costs of peer review and online

Librarians can obtain access by accepting a simple online site license and providing valid IP addresses of public-use computers in their libraries ( The license requires that public library users must be in the library when they read the APS journals or download articles. Initially the program will be offered to U.S. public libraries, but it may include additional countries in the future.

"The Public Library program is entirely consistent with the APS objective to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics," said Gene Sprouse, APS Editor in Chief. "Our goal is to provide access to everyone who wants and needs our journals and this shift in policy represents the first of several steps the APS is taking towards that goal."

--Contact: Amy Halsted, Special Assistant to the Editor in Chief,, 631-591-4232

--About the APS: The American Physical Society is the world's largest professional body of physicists, representing close to 48,000 physicists in academia and industry worldwide. It has offices in Ridge, NY; Washington, DC; and College Park, MD. For more information:

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Sorry - I can't get too excited about this. The headline should read: "APS Throws a Bone to Public Libraries - Hopes Pressure to Free Information Paid for by Taxpayers Will Go Away." Certainly this is good in that there will be a rather limited expansion of access, but why restrict access at all? There mu$t be $ome good rea$on I can't think of . . .

We need to keep up the pressure to make this information freely available on the Internet, and not buy into these obvious ploys to keep a handle on the money tap.