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CEU's or paying for information?

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As I was responding to others in this thread, a though occured 
to me. We might consider the fact that we need continuing 
education credits at a cost for each unit because we do not make 
needed information readily accessible and for a reasonable fee.
One problem that our industry faces is that information is a 
marketable commodity. You can not go the the AISC web page and 
read a techical report, you must pay to have it reproduced and 
sent to you.This is true of almost all other associations. 
Before you suggest that this is how they make money, most 
organizations clearly state that their nominal cost for the 
information is to offset printing and mailing costs. So why not 
simply make the information available on their web site for no 
cost? Has it happened? Not as yet if you search AISC, ACI, AITC, 
or LGSEA (although light gauge steel engineering assoc has begun 
to make tech sheets available as PDF files).
This is counter-productive.  The profession holds back 
information for a fee, which supports the concept of CEU's 
(which generally offers you a more reasonable fee for 
information based upon greater distribution). I have turned down 
dozens of seminars which were offered at a fee of $150.00 or 
more to cover the cost of the meeting room, speakers travel and 
expenses, and "profit" to the sponser to help cover operating 
costs for non-profit groups. I would have been happy to pay a 
lesser fee - say $25.00 to receive a tape and manual or view it 
via Internet. The fee would cover the needed income from the 
non-profit group to cover overhead costs to help the 
organization survive, but would not require a needless and 
expensive live "show".
CEU's do promote this idea - available information at an 
affordable price. If it does not immediatly promote lower cost, 
competition for materials will force competition in prices the 
same as it has for software.  It is understandable that 
information can not always be free - especially where the cost 
to create and distribute documentation is involved.
Many technical references that are distributed for the cost of 
reproducation and shipping can be avoided by making it available 
over the Internet. Why is at that none of the organizations like 
AISC, ACI, AITC are not making journal available online?
By identifying a need for continuing education we acknowledge 
that our profession is, for the majority, behind technology or 
at least not up to date. CEU's promote competition among vendors 
which will translate into lower cost materials and greater 
availability. Even more importance is that it will create 
greater accessibility to those who normally do not have the 
resources or means to obtain a proper education in code or 
methodology changes.

Dennis Wish PE