2.2 ELABORATIONS, Marcia Tuttle
2.3 STATEMENT OF POLICY, Marcia Tuttle
2.4 LIBRARY JOURNAL PRICE INDEX FOR U.S. PERIODICALS, 1989, Peter Young and Kathryn Hammell Carpenter
2.5 MORE ON PRICE INCREASES, Bob Houbeck
2.6 SERIALS CONTINUE TO TAKE TOLL ON ARL LIBRARIES, Association of Research Libraries
2.7 EVALUATING SERIALS COLLECTIONS, Luke Swindler and Patricia Buck Dominguez
2.8 CAPTURING MAIL AS ASCII FILES, Lloyd Davidson
2.9 PROPOSAL FOR A CLEARINGHOUSE ON BOOK AND SERIAL PRICES, Christian M. Boissonnas
2.10 ASERL LIST OF EXPENSIVE SERIAL TITLES, Deana Astle
Thanks to all of you who sent compliments and suggestions after you received the first issue of the newsletter. It makes the job easier and more fun. Many of the suggestions are incorporated in this issue; for example, an attempt at a table of contents, an end of file notice at the end of the newsletter, and some help for those who do not have a lot of experience downloading files. About the last item, Lloyd Davidson kindly sent along some advice for me, and I asked him to let me share it. Our subscriber list continues to grow, primarily on the basis of HOTLINE and CHRONICLE announcements and word of mouth. We have about 70 BITNET subscribers, about 18 for DataLinx, and 119 for the paper edition.
In Lloyd Davidson's bibliography in the first issue, two citations were incomplete and thanks to subscribers I can now give the complete references. The first appeared on BITNET and DataLinx as: "Journals: A Survey." The full reference is: Barschall, Henry H. and J.P. Arrington. 1988. "Cost of Physics Journals: A Survey." BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY 33 (7): 1437-47. The second is the article in the UC Davis Library Newsletter. The complete citation for that one is: Renken, Eugene M. 1988. "Increased Cost of Professional Journals: A Faculty Member's Perspective." UC DAVIS LIBRARY PERSPECTIVE No. 6 (May 1988): unnumbered pages 4-5. Thanks to Ann Okerson for the first information and Beverlee French for the second.
2.3 STATEMENT OF POLICY
Since the announcement of this newsletter has appeared, several publishers have sent me copies of their journals and letters asking me to recognize these titles as good values. While the publishers make a good case, the committee members agree without exception that it is not within the scope of the newsletter to promote any serials.
2.4 LIBRARY JOURNAL PRICE INDEX FOR U.S. PERIODICALS, 1989
From Peter R. Young, The Faxon Company (DataLinx: YOUNG) and Kathryn Hammell Carpenter, Bibliographer for the Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago
The full article will appear in the April 1, 1989, issue of LIBRARY JOURNAL. In brief, a sample of 3,731 U.S. titles in the Faxon title file shows a 9.5% increase for 1989, when Soviet translations are excluded, 4% over the 1988 increase of 9.1%. When Soviet translations are included, a sample of 3,942 U.S. titles shows an 8.2% increase for 1989, 13% below 1988's increase of 9.4%. The average subscription price was $85.37 not including Soviet translations, and $114.07 with Soviet translations included. Prices increased 2.3 times the rate of U.S. inflation (2 times inflation with Soviet translations), when inflation is measured by the CPI. In 1987 the study found prices increasing at a rate five times greater than the CPI. Once again the Chemistry and Physics average periodical price is highest, $367.99 without Soviet translations.
2.5 MORE ON PRICE INCREASES
Bob Houbeck, University of Michigan (USERGBNQ@UMICHUM)
Locally, we've compared the costs of 2,659 foreign periodicals, 1989 vs. 1988 prices. Our US dollar expenditures for those titles are up 8.1% over last year. Humanities and social sciences titles are up in the range of 5-6%; STM titles closer to 9% (with all sorts of variations among individual titles, of course). What is of concern to me is that this is a year in which the dollar is comparatively strong (comparing February 1989 to February 1988, for example, the dollar is up against all major foreign currencies, except Canada).
Early indications are that our expenditures for Elsevier titles will be up a good bit more than the average "per title" increases they were quoting earlier in the year (ca. 4%). I suspect that with added volumes we will expend maybe 10-12% more this year than last on their titles.
Overall, compared to where we were last year through February, our serial expenditures are up 6% in total. My guess is still that when the smoke clears in June we will spend 10% more this year than last Our major vendor billings are running 11% ahead of last year. Coupled with a foreign increase of ca. 8% -- assuming that holds -- and an unknown amount for standing order billings for monographs-in-series, which we include in our continuations budget, I think 10% still sounds about right. In any case, as I read the data I tend more and more to believe that Chuck Hamaker was correct last Fall when he suggested that the Faxon projections were overly optimistic (ca. +5% for a library with our mix of US/foreign titles). I'd be curious to know what others are seeing as they compare their 1989 expenditures to 1988.
2.6 SERIALS CONTINUE TO TAKE TOLL ON ARL LIBRARIES
February 27 press release from the Association of Research Libraries.
(Washington, D.C.) The members of the Association of Research Libraries spent over $1.6 billion last year, according to the 1987-88 ARL STATISTICS, just issued by the Association. ARL libraries hold almost 328 million volumes and receive over 3.4 million current serials.
The 1987-88 statistics paint a disheartening picture of research libraries paying more for materials and buying less. Since 1985-86 ARL has been collecting data that allow calculation of rough price indexes for monographs and serials, to which 91% of the materials budget is devoted in university libraries. In the university libraries that have reported on monographs and purchased serials over he last three years, the median unit prices of both monographs and serials increased 12% from fiscal year 1987 to 1988. For the three-year period 1986 to 1988, the statistics indicate the following:
- SERIALS: median unit prices increased 32%, expenditures for serials in ARL university libraries rose by 30%, while the number of titles purchased remained the same. - MONOGRAPHS: the median unit price went up 21%, ARL libraries spent 2% more for monographs but purchased 15% LESS.It seems clear that ARL libraries are trying to protect their serials at the expense of monographs.
In order to provide a longer view of changes indicated by the data, an analysis was done of the statistics of 93 university libraries that have been members of ARL since 1978-79. Highlights include:
- If recent trends in expenditures continue, by the end of the century, serials will comprise two-thirds of materials expenditures. - Almost twice as much will be spent on other operating expenditures (for example, automation and equipment) as on monographs, microforms, and other non-serial materials. Ten years ago, 75% of ARL libraries spent more -- sometimes considarably more -- on non-serial materials than on other operating expenses. 1988 is the first year in which a majority of libraries (56%) are spending more on other operating than on monographs, microforms, etc. - Because of rising prices ARL libraries are less well off in building their collections than they were ten years ago. They are adding only about 96% as many volumes as they added in 1979: some 350,000 volumes fewer in 1988 than in 1979 for the 93 university libraries in the analysis. - The number of current serials held in ARL libraries is 13% higher than ten years ago, but this 13% increase in serials has been paid for with a 143% increase in the serials bill.ARL publishes the ARL STATISTICS annually as part of its statistical series providing data on its member libraries in the United States and Canada. The ARL STATISTICS includes 26 categories of data under four broad groupings:
collections: size and growth expenditures: library materials, binding, salaries and wages, and other operating expenditures personnel: professional, nonprofessional, and student assistant FTE interlibrary loans: total items loaned and borrowed.The ARL STATISTICS also lists number of full-time instructional faculty, university enrollments (full-time, part-time, and graduate) and the number of Ph.D. fields and Ph.D. degrees awarded by the parent institutions. Finally, the 107 university libraries are ranked numerically in 17 statistical categories.
The ARL STATISTICS for 1987-88 is available from the Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036. The price is $60.00 per copy; all orders should be prepaid. Back issues may be purchased when available or obtained through ERIC.
The Association of Research Libraries is an organization of 119 major research institutions committed to strengthening and extending the capacities of research libraries to contribute to the overall institutional mission. Members include 107 large university libraries, the national libraries of the United States and Canada, and a number of public and special libraries with substantial research collections.
2.7 EVALUATING SERIALS COLLECTIONS
Luke Swindler and Patricia Buck Dominguez (COLDEV@UNC.BITNET, 919- 962-1095). Reprinted with permission from TECHNICAL SERVICES INFORMATION BULLETIN (Academic Affairs Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Vol. 7, no. 1 (March 1989): 5-6.
The Academic Affairs Library has expanded its subscriptions allocation from $1,184,284 in 1985/86 to $1,929,714 in 1988/89, an increase of nearly 63%. During the same period the library's total state budget has grown by only 12%. In order to pay for ongoing subscriptions, the library has had to reduce the amount of money it spends on books and other materials from $1,299,646 to $914,021.
The library has maintained its subscriptions at approximately 20,000 paid titles. It has had to cut its monographic purchases nearly in half, however, and cannot reduce them further. Unless the state legislature allocates substantial new funds for acquisitions, the library must plan to reduce serials expenditures in order to live within its budget.
Last fall the Library Adminsitrative Board asked that each department or academic unit identify current serials titles whose cumulative subscription costs equal 10% of its 1988 serials expenditure. Librarians and faculty are now working together to evaluate thousands of titles. From this review they will determine which ones could be cancelled if funds from the state are not forthcoming.
Because even in the best of times the library has not had enough money to add all the desirable serials titles, Collection Development established priorities for acquiring various categories of materials over the past decade. In the case of serials, we created the following evaluation scheme that ranks titles on a scale of 1 to 5:
1. ESSENTIAL resource for teaching or research. (Subscribe even if held in other campus libraries.) 2. IMPORTANT resource for teaching or research. (Subscribe even if held in other campus libraries or at Duke or NCSU.) 3. USEFUL resource for teaching or research. (Prefer to subscribe even if held in other campus libraries or at Duke or NCSU.) 4. MARGINAL resource for teaching or research: materials highly specialized by subject matter or language. (No need to subscribe if available in other campus libraries or at Duke or NCSU.) 5. UNNECESSARY resource for teaching or research: CANCEL.(Copies of the evaluation form are available from the authors.)
Although the sciences account for the bulk of the library's subscription costs and are the driving force behind the massive serials inflation of the last several years, the social sciences and humanities constitute a much larger publishing universe and account numerically for most of the library's subscriptions. Even a heavily book-oriented discipline such as English has more serial subscriptions than a major science discipline such as Chemistry! In addition to reviewing thousands of titles, bibliographers in Collection Development need to consider the input of hundreds of faculty, ranging from less than a half-dozen individuals in a small unit such as Speech Communication to several scores in a large school such as Business Administration.
To cope with these intellectual and logistical challenges, Collection Development bibliographers expanded the subscription evaluation scheme outlined above and linked it to microcomputer technology. We developed the following methodology over the last several years, tested it in the English and RTVMP (Radio, Television, Motion Pictures) departments, and are using it for all the academic units whose collections are in Davis Library.
Collection Development requested the fund lists in machine-readable form from Serials and then edited them. Our students used a micro to place the rating scale under each title in the following manner:
Academe $38.00 1=Essential 2=Important 3=Useful 4=Marginal 5=UnnecessaryThe bibliographers then gave a copy of the revised serials list and a cover memo to the library liaison in each academic unit. The memo asked the faculty to rank each title by encircling the appropriate number. In order to protect titles important to individual research- ers, we asked faculty to rank only those serials they were familiar with. Collection Development set a response deadline of March 20th, to give us time to tally the results and develop a list of titles for possible cancellation before the official deadline of May 1st.
After we receive the evaluations we use a microcomputer program to calculate the mean value for each serial (derived from dividing the number of responses into the total raw score). It then arrays the serials by mean value in rank order. The bibliographers will share the results of the serials evaluation with the library liaison and appropriate faculty in each academic unit, who will use the ranking data as a guide for producing the lists of possible cancellations.
The ranking data give Collection Development valuable information that can be used to develop the serials collections for each discipline. Our ranking system also encourages faculty to consider serial holdings at neighboring institutions. Because NCSU has adopted our ranking system and Duke uses a modified but compatible version, this methodology gives librarians at each campus a common means of evaluating serials.
2.8 CAPTURING MAIL AS ASCII FILES
Lloyd Davidson (L_DAVIDSON@NUACC)
On most communications packages there is a way of capturing all screen displays as an ASCII file on your microcomputer, either by capturing everything or by capturing one screen at a time. On PROCOMM, for example, ALT-F1 opens a LOG FILE which captures everything into a disk file. DIALOG LINK allows everything to be either stored in RAM and then captured to a disk file, or allows you to open a LOG FILE which captures everything into a disk file.
Once the mail is received and is residing as a piece of mail on the Main Frame (I am using a VAX) I can convert the file into an ASCII file in my files directory on the Main Frame by simply reading the piece of mail, then typing in EXTRACT or EXTRACT NOHEAD (to get rid of some of the heading info) and giving the file in which I want the text to be placed a name. I usually add the extension .TXT so I know it is an ASCII file and name it something mnemonic so I can remember what is in it. This ASCII file can then be downloaded to my microcomputer from the VAX using, here, a rather complicated procedure. If you are going to use the ASCII file again on the Main Frame it is probably easiest to use this procedure rather than downloading it to your micro and then uploading it again. If you are going to download the text anyway to your micro for easier editing, it is simplest simply to open a LOG FILE as you read the mail so it is captured on your micro as an ASCII file.
Alternative methods are to load SideKick, which allows you to capture screens as ASCII files or to use various screen downloading programs, one of which I have as a freeware program, that allows the same thing. With the freeware program you simply display the text you want to save, hit ALT-W to activate the marker and use the cursor keys to mark off what you want to save and then hit return, which saves the screen on your micro as an ASCII file. Additional screens are then concatenated to the original so any number of screens can be added together to make a single ASCII file.
2.9 PROPOSAL FOR A CLEARINGHOUSE ON BOOK AND SERIAL PRICES
Christian M. Boissonnas, Acquisitions Librarian, Cornell University Library, 110A Olin Library (CBY@CORNELLC)
Last year I conducted a study of prices paid by U.S. libraries for U.S. monographs. Fourteen libraries volunteered to take copies of Cornell invoices and check what they had paid for the same books. Nine (Auburn, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State, Southern Illi- nois, University of California - Riverside, University of California - San Diego, and University of Southern California) returned usable data. I presented these data in a paper at the Charleston Acquisitions Conference in November 1988. The paper will appear this spring in LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS: PRACTICE AND THEORY.
All participants received copies of the statistical reports which I generated, as well as copies of their data in machine-readable format, in case they want to do further analyses.
This kind of activity presents a picture of what we are doing at a particular point in time. Hence the value of last year's data is more limited than it could be. Casting about for a way to make them more useful, it seemed to me that what was mostly lacking was a way to collect them and analyze them on a continuing basis. Carol Chamberlain, from Penn State, suggested that I should set up a clearinghouse to do just that.
The purpose of this document is to ascertain how much interest there would be among libraries for such a venture. I envision a clearinghouse that would collect, analyze, and distribute data on costs and pricing of monographs and serials, integrating the work already being done on serials costs by Hamaker and Co., and PVLR's Subcommittee on Serials Pricing Issues, to the extent that it gathers data. It would be a cooperative venture in which libraries would collect data, send them to the clearinghouse for entry into a common database and analysis, and receive reports. They would pay for the reports and for part of the cost of operating the clearinghouse.
Reports would be generated using standard, off the shelf, microcomputer and mainframe software (SAS, dBase, SPSS). I have already a substantial library of programs which I generated for last year's project and which can be used again. There would be a standard list of reports, with the option to request others, for an additional price.
While it is impossible at this stage to come up with a detailed budget, I do not envision an expensive operation. I do think that it should be self-supporting. Given my experience with last year's project, I think it might be possible to do this with one, possibly two, student assistants. They would have to be supervised, presumably by a librarian of whose duties this would be a small part. This leaves paper, postage and computer charges, which are low if work is done during evenings or weekends. I have done SAS reports on 1700 Cornell records at a cost of about $3.00 for each report. I really don't know how much to estimate but I would think the total cost could be kept in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000. If twenty libraries participate, it would cost them $500 to $750 per year. It's cheap for this sort of thing. Because of the cooperative nature of the project, it could be that outside funding would be available to offset part of the operational costs, or the cost of starting this thing up and running it for a couple of years.
The above is very preliminary. But so is my thinking on the main idea. At this point, I would like to have reaction from colleagues to the following: If the funding issue and other practical details (Where? Who would run it? How much work would it mean for us? Etc.) can be solved to your satisfaction, would you be interested in seeing such a clearinghouse be created and participating in its work?
If enough agree to go forward, I would propose that we create a steering committee of interested people to try to take us there.
I would appreciate receiving your comments, specifically addressing the following points:
1. It's a great/lousy idea. Let's go for/forget it. 2. It's a great idea, but ... (fill in) 3. How much would you be willing to pay ($0, $500, $1000, or $___________) per year to get data? 4. How do you think it should be run? Where? 5. Assuming that we agree to try to do something, how do you see us proceeding from here on? 6. Again, assuming that we proceed, does the steering committee approach seem worthwhile? Would you be a member? 7. What groups need to be consulted for possible joint work, sponsorship? 8. Who would be likely funders? Who do you know there that we could call or write to? 9. What is the likely market? Is 20 libraries too small? Is there a way to look at it so that a substantial number of libraries would be interested?Please feel free to copy this, distribute it, and discuss it. The wider the discussion the better. I would especially welcome comments from the collection development community. Please send your reply to me or to the editor. Thank you.
2.10 ASERL LIST OF EXPENSIVE SERIAL TITLES
Deana Astle, Clemson University (DLAST@CLEMSON)
The Association of Southeast Research Libraries (ASERL) has embarked on a project to identify expensive currently received serials titles -- defined as costing $200 or more -- held by its member libraries. Housed on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute mainframe, this list will be available in both machine readable and paper formats.
At least 19 libraries have already contributed holdings information, and the resulting list is being edited by a group from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke and North Carolina State chaired by Marcia Tuttle. After the removal of duplicate entries the list will be made available to the rest of the ASERL libraries to add their holdings. When all the libraries have contributed their information, responsibility for maintaining the list will be transferred to SOLINET. This cooperative project will allow libraries to check on the availability of a given title in the region before cancelling or ordering. Contact Paul Gherman, Director of Libraries at VPI, for more information. His BITNET address is GHERMAN@VTVM1.