Information Today
Volume 19, Issue 1 January 2002
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ICOLC Announces Bath Profile Endorsement, Updates to Documents

The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has announced its Endorsement of the Bath Profile, an international Z39.50 specification supporting library applications and resource discovery. Version 1.1 of the Bath Profile, released in June 2000 with minor clarifications in February 2001, is endorsed as an ISO Internationally Recognized Profile (IRP). In a separate announcement, the ICOLC has also announced updates to two previously issued documents.

Bath Profile Endorsement
In endorsing the Bath Profile, the ICOLC realizes that standards organizations, libraries, consortia, database vendors, and integrated library system vendors will need to work together to realize the potential of Z39.50, according to the announcement. The international Bath Profile, if broadly adopted and incorporated into more detailed national, regional, provincial, and state agreements, becomes a valuable part of the solution.

The complete Endorsement of the Bath Profile with endorsing library consortia and additional information about the ICOLC can be found at Support for the Bath Profile is already provided by 68 library consortia from around the world. More consortia endorsements will be added as received.

Document Updates
Now available on the ICOLC Web site are the "Statement of Current Perspective and Preferred Practices for the Selection and Purchase of Electronic Information: Update No. 1: New Developments in E-Journal Licensing" and an updated "Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Information Resources." According to the announcement, the issuance of both documents reflects the dynamic nature of information services to libraries and the need for library consortia to influence the practices of the vendor community on a global basis.

The update of the "Statement of Current Perspective ..." focuses on developments in consortia perspectives on electronic journal publishing since the original statement was released in March 1998. The original "Statement of Current Perspective ..." was the first public document issued by the ICOLC.

Among the preferred practices that the updated statement recommends are the following: 

1. Having publishers provide multiple models for pricing electronic journals, such as making the purchase of the print copies optional, with a base price for the electronic-only content that is no more than 80 percent of the price, and having a combined electronic and print price that is no more than current print-only prices 

2. Enabling libraries to purchase content in multiple models ranging the full spectrum, from "all you can eat" to "by the drink" 

3. Eliminating publisher restrictions on the number of print subscriptions that can be canceled 

4. Creating special pricing that accommodates the needs of countries in transition 

5. Requiring publishers to provide complete and consistent electronic content 

6. Reaffirming the importance of fair use 

7. Encouraging publishers to support open linking of journal articles 

8. Developing more non-English language content and interfaces 

9. Developing multiple options to ensure persistent access to electronic content

The updated "Guidelines for Statistical Measures ..." clarifies the requirements for reporting library usage of vendor systems based on the experience of consortia since the original guideline was issued in November 1998. The data elements to be reported have been simplified, while administrative aspects of confidentiality, access, delivery, and report format have been strengthened.

The complete original and updated Statements and Guidelines with endorsing library consortia and additional information about the ICOLC can be found at The Statement and Guideline updates are each initially endorsed by 70 library consortia from around the world. More endorsements will be added to each as received.

The ICOLC was founded in 1996. The coalition is an international, informal group currently comprising over 160 library consortia in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. The member consortia serve all types and sizes of libraries. ICOLC facilitates discussion among consortia on issues of common interest, and conducts two meetings per year in North America and one meeting each year in Europe. The organization is dedicated to keeping its members informed about electronic information resources, pricing practices of electronic publishers and vendors, and other issues of importance to consortium directors and governing boards. The coalition also meets with the information provider community to discuss product offerings and issues of mutual concern.

More information about ICOLC can be found at or by contacting Tom Sanville, Executive Director, OhioLINK, Suite 300, 2455 North Star Road, Columbus, OH 43221, 614/728-3600, ext. 322;

Source: International Coalition of Library Consortia;

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