Over the last decade, the electronic information environment has changed remarkably. From indexing and abstracting services on proprietary services or CD-ROM, we have moved to easy access via a World Wide Web interface; and from a trend that began as a mere handful of ASCII journals distributed through e-mail, we have now gained access to thousands of the most important journals, especially in the sciences, technology, and medicine, through the Web. ‹See listings at: http://gort.ucsd.edu/newjour› These rapid shifts from traditional to online access have been accompanied by a change in rules of access: i. e., instead of being regulated by national copyright laws, electronic information resources are governed by internationally developed contractual or licensing agreements. These determine precisely what the licensing institution and its readers may do with the accessed information. In some cases, the license terms and conditions are very generous and provide users the ability to do much more copying (downloading, printing) than they could do under copyright regimes, but in other cases the licenses can be very restrictive in what they permit. Another huge shift is being experienced in the “marketplace” for electronic resources. In the United States and Europe, for example, consortia (groups of libraries banding together by type or region) are jointly contracting with publishers and vendors to obtain access to electronic resources, both for advantageous contractual use terms as well as for better pricing. This type of licensing generally benefits not only the libraries but also the information provider, who has to deal with only one point of negotiation and payment instead of numerous libraries. In the future, we can expect a continuation of all of the above trends, as well as several additional ones. For example, just about all significant journals will appear on the web over the next few years, following the STM leadership; we will be offered numerous options for access and payment for electronic information (from single article payments all the way to national site licenses); we can expect that numerous current books, not just journals, will become available online, as is already beginning to happen. How can libraries manage such immense changes? It will be important to develop a vision for the near future and to work toward it—it is not possibly any longer to develop long-term plans as the information universe continues to transform rapidly. Particularly in the sciences, access to the complete range of full text electronic journals and resources will be key for researchers and students. Gateways such as indexing services and particularly the ISI Web of Science will increasingly become a preferred path to the vast body of online literature. Article-linking features will abound through these gateways, through libraries' online catalogs, and through the services of journal publishers themselves. To facilitate the licensing, activation, and presentation of information resources for their users, libraries will make significant investments in staff training, user training, equipment, and infrastructure. They will also strengthen their relationships with partner libraries by working energetically within their consortia to license information. In the end, the clear trend is from ownership to access and from local to consortial marketplace actions.
The total number of pharmacopoeias in the world is approximately 30. Some pharmacopoeias are published and supplied in advanced countries, and they are strongly influencing others in developing countries. Here, I introduce outlines and characteristics of these leading pharmacopoeias, the United States Pharmacopeia, British Pharmacopoeia, Pharmacopee Francaise, and Deutsches Arzneibuch.