Topics addressed by this paper are: changing role of publishers andsubscription agents; changing role of libraries and others involved in the information dissemination process; economic/financial questions;Project ACORN (Access to Course Readings via Networks) began in August 1996 as one of a new strand of electronic short loan projects funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) via the eLib (electronic Libraries) Programme. Project ACORN's distinguishing features are firstly the involvement of Swets & Zeitlinger (the international periodicals subscription agency) in the project consortium, and secondly the project's sole focus on journal articles. The overall aim otthe project is to develop a transferable model of the whole process of making high-demand short loan journal articles available electronically, and in particular to focus on the role of a third party agent in gaining copyright clearance and providing digital copies to libraries.