In last week’s session, while we were examining what happens ‘behind the interface’ of digital projects and databases, we also started considered the effects of commerce and funding. Just this week, the effect of commercial priorities has been strikingly demonstrated by ProQuest, the publisher behind Early English Books Online. If you’re on twitter, see #Proquestgate.
Proquest has canceled EEBO access for members of the Renaissance Society of America starting 1 November 2015. The announcement can be seen on the “Members Benefits” page of the RSA.
This is a deep disappointment for those of us whose libraries do not and cannot subscribe to EEBO. If ProQuest never intended to offer continuing access, it would have been helpful if they had announced that from the beginning so that members could plan accordingly. A longer grace period before the announced cancellation would be considerate, especially since the agreement was presented as lasting.