Dammit, I want a universal index. I've been proofing the copyedited Due article, and they asked for more detail on some of the citations, and it took me half an hour of web searching before I remembered that I'd gotten those articles off an academic database, and they probably weren't available on the web. They wouldn't have been available to *me* if I didn't still have my proxy server info for the Utah databases -- which means that if I'd been working as an independent scholar, I wouldn't have even known that these articles *existed* without going into an academic library. I can understand that the libraries pay for these databases as a service to their students/scholars, but you'd think that we shouldn't be so far from just having one huge universal *listing* at least. I'd understand if the actual articles remained behind some sort of firewall, but this current method just hampers research scope.
Universal access to information, dammit. Is that so much to ask? If I finally finagled funds to do a research trip to Sri Lanka, I'd want that same access while up in the remote hill country of Nuwara Eliya too...just me and my computer's modem and the entire world of information at my fingertips, sitting under the bougainvillea, drinking fresh Ceylon tea.