Electronic versions withheld?

One of our residency programs wished to use the electronic version of a 2004 article from American Family Physician. The physicians report that when they tried to download, they were blocked by the journal website, with a message indicating that permission for use of the electronic version was not given, and that they should seek out the paper copy.

This is a “free online” journal, and other articles can be downloaded/printed.  Due to space limitations, our hospital library doesn’t keep back issues of this journal. 

 Has anyone else seen this type of restriction? Any comment on the implications of such restrictions?

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed the same thing in Am Fam Phys. Sometimes the article(s) is available but not all the tables or diagrams, so, if you don’t have the paper copy of AFP or whatever journal they cribbed the table from, you’re doomed.

    And we also have the “selected articles” issue.

  2. Thinking back on the physicians’ complaint, I think tables were what they couldn’t get; and specifically, an image of an algorithm. I suspect this might be a copyright issue, where the author of the AFP article used someone else’s tables and thus didn’t own the copyright to release to AFP.

    Still, this is a problem when we begin relying on the electronic versions and think the publisher’s site, at least, ought to have the authoritative version!

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