The different rates imposed on the sale of digital and paper versions of books and journals has been a thorn in the flesh of many librarians since the rise of the digital media. Digitised publications are treated by the EU as a supply of services rather than as goods, and therefore they are subject to the standard VAT rate, whereas the paper copies may receive a special treatment of reduced or even zero rates. This discrepancy together with publisher pricing strategies has probably slowed down substantially the evolution of what we use to call the ‘digital library’. The first paper of the present issue of LIBER Quarterly describes and analyzes recent regulations for the sale of eBooks in France: the 2011 law about price maintenance and the 2012 law that establishes a reduced VAT rate (in defiance of the EU rule, such that France is now referred for this to the European Court of Justice…). The author asks the question whether these laws have not been written too fast and too early, but they certainly offer an interesting test case that should interest the whole European library community.
The remaining two papers treat some problems in the domain of information literacy (IL). The second paper describes the results from a survey in The Netherlands about the use of Web 2.0 tools in research and in teaching. The third paper discusses how the interplay of PhD-candidates and liaison librarians in an informal setting can contribute to an improved IL for the researchers and a better understanding of the research needs for the librarians.
The issue closes with a review of a recently published book on the future of scholarly communication. Since research libraries are essentially the guardians of the output of all these scholarly activities, this book may be of interest to many of our readers.
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