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Free of charge: an impossible principle in the digital world?

Law, Derek (1995) Free of charge: an impossible principle in the digital world? In: Scandinavian Conference, 1995-05-01. (Unpublished)

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UK higher education has taken a number of bold steps to deliver network services through national planning. However, underlying these pragmatically organised services is a philosophical approach to information provision. Central to that philosophy is that services should be free at the point of use and that we have a duty to the nation to turn out graduates who are not only eager to use electronic services, but have been taught the skills to take the fullest advantage of this. Small nations such as the United Kingdom or the countries of Scandinavia have a huge advantage over the United States. We can practise systematic national planning and introduce services, training and documentation on a countrywide basis. To experiment with and change the whole system is not an opportunity offered to very large decentralised or federal countries.