In the 1990s many publishers saw the potential of the internet and started to move their content online. This consolidated the need for a shift in their business models from a focus on individuals to IP-mediated institutional access. Libraries were purchasing institution-wide subscriptions with access facilitated through fixed computers, in libraries and offices on campus. Over time, publishers added other institutional authentication mechanisms - trusted referrer URLs, library cards, EZProxy support, and so on - but we never addressed the poor user experience associated with off-campus access. Now, with the rise in mobile and tablet devices and increasing flexibility in work spaces, access control is failing. In this article, I argue that we need to find a balance between our desire for security and lowering barriers to access. As an industry, we can make use of technologies and initiatives which are already in place to help us to strike that balance, encouraging users to access versions of record instead of resorting to less legitimate copies through services such as Sci-Hub.
Mellins-Cohen, T. (2017, July 1). Easy access to the version of record (VoR) could help combat piracy: Views from a publishing technologist. Insights: The UKSG Journal. Ubiquity Press Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.360