Please accept my apologies for overburdening you with so many copies of the last issue of the newsletter. I claim pilot error, with a little local assistance. Hope it won't happen again.
The Subcommittee on Serials Pricing Issues (responsible for this newsletter) will not meet at ALA Midwinter. It was good to see those of you who came to our meeting and to hear your suggestions, compliments, and criticisms. However, the subcommittee members are able to communicate easily and do not feel the need to get together in a meeting at Midwinter. We invite you to CONTINUE to send news and other messages to us. My BITNET and DataLinx id's are at the end of the newsletter. Here are the others: Deana Astle (BITNET: DLAST@CLEMSON), Mary Beth Clack (DataLinx: CLACKMB), Chuck Hamaker (BITNET: NOTCAH@LSUVM), and Bob Houbeck (BITNET: USERGBNQ@UMICHUM).
The second of the Elsevier LIBRARY JOURNAL ads has come out. The topic this time is the necessity for peer review, using Elsevier's BRAIN RESEARCH as a case study. The publisher will send reprints of the ads to any who want them. Contact John Tagler; Director, Marketing Services; Elsevier Science Publishing Company, Inc.; 655 Avenue of the Americas; New York NY 10010; telephone (212) 633-3780.
Brad Carrington (University of Kentucky) brings to our attention "Getting Permissions for Class Readings is a Tangled Web," by Tankard, in the December 13, 1989, CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION (p. B2). He says, "This article adds quite a bit to the discussion of the economics of publishing with regard to higher education."
Karen Nadeski, Tufts University Library (BITNET: KNADESKI@TUFTS) sent a message asking if I had or knew of a list server on BITNET connecting serials librarians, similar to the one MLA has for music librarians. She says, "Like a lot of libraries, Tufts is now trying to decide how to cope with periodical replacement issues now that USBE is kaput, and I was wondering if there is any way I could send out a general 'what are people planning on doing now' query." Sounds like a great idea to me! Who's willing to take responsibility for doing this? This Newsletter will publicize your efforts.
Happy New Year!
14.2 SOCIETY FOR SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING MEETING
Sara Miller McCune, Publisher and Chairman, Sage Publications, Inc.
The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) will hold its twelfth annual meeting June 5-8, 1990, in San Francisco at the Hotel Cathedral Hill. The conference theme is "FACING FORWARD: Meeting Challenges New and Old." Program Chair Sara Miller McCune (Sage Publications) is interested in making the meeting a genuine forum for interchange between publishers, academics, and librarians (all of these groups will be represented on panels ... hopefully in equal proportions -- for a change!)
If you have suggestions for topics you think should be covered (and/or speakers who might make good presentations on those topics), please share those ideas (soon!) with:
S.M. McCune Publisher and Chairman Sage Publications, Inc. 2111 West Hillcrest Drive Newbury Park CA 91320 (FAX: 805 499-0721)
14.3 SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS PROJECT AT VIRGINIA
Bela Foltin, Assistant Director for Public Services and Collection Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Library, Blacksburg VA, BITNET: FOLTIN@VTVM1.
A new Scholarly Communications Project at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, initiated last year as an answer to the crisis in escalating serials prices, will publish its first journal issue this month (January, 1990).
The university, bidding against a major European journals publisher that planned to increase library prices for the publication, succeeded in reaching an agreement with the Society for Experimental Mechanics to publish the technical quarterly, THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL MODAL ANALYSIS. Under the agreement, the University performs managing editorial services, typesetting, printing, and distribution of the journal, with plans to move into marketing, fulfillment, and electronic storage of the journal in the immediate future. Editorial content will remain with the society and the journal's editors.
The agreement is effective with the first issue of 1990, which the University plans to distribute in January. The University has employed Leanne Mitchell, an engineer and member of the society, as managing editor, to work closely with the journal's technical editor, Dr. V.W. Snyder of Michigan Technological University.
Virginia Tech's Scholarly Communications Project was initiated expressly as an answer to the serials pricing problems of research libraries. Robert C. Heterick, the University's Vice President for Information Systems, said the project, which will be self-supporting, will work with the journal in taking advantage of new possibilities in electronic storage and communication, utilizing the University's leadership in computer science and electronic communication.
Kenneth A. Galione, managing director of the Engineering Society in Bethel CT, said the agreement is "a nice merger of interests, with member involvement combined with using the resources of a prominent university." He said he sees the agreement as part of a trend, in which "smaller societies like SEM should seek such links with large, well-known universities like VPI."
Lon Savage, director of the project, said it will work with the society to build the journal's quality and circulation without increasing its cost to subscribers. Savage said the project is seeking similar publishing agreements with other journals. The Project is located at 1700 Pratt Drive, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA 24061-0506 and can also be reached at (703) 231-4922 or SAVAGE@VTVM1 on BITNET.
14.4 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS LETTER TO SPECIAL
Robert E. Baensch, Director of Publishing, American Institute of Physics, 335 East 45th Street, New York NY 10017-3483; (212) 661- 9404
I would like to thank you and the members of your SLA Division for sharing your thoughts at this year's Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association. Your honest, direct comments and criticisms affirm the special relationship between the library community and the American Institute of Physics, its Member Societies, and the Institute of Physics in Britain.
As the new director of publishing, I was heartened to meet so many of you at the AIP exhibit, our reception, and the PAM Workshop on Journal Pricing in which I participated, and the PAM Vendor Update in which our Marketing Manager, Jeff Howitt, participated. I hope that you will continue to contact us whenever we can be of service.
As your partners in the dissemination of scientific information, we regard the present crisis in journal pricing as a top priority. We view the following practices as a publisher's responsibility:
1) WE BASE OUR SUBSCRIPTION RATES ON EXPENSES, NOT ON WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR.
In 1987, the JOURNAL OF VACUUM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY published a special conference proceedings that swelled its content, increased production expenses, and forced a large price increase. In 1988 JVST returned to its usual page count and dropped its rate by 17%, even though subscribers had accepted the higher rate.
2) WE DEVELOP JOURNALS TO MEET LONG-TERM INFORMATION NEEDS, NOT TO CASH IN ON SHORT-TERM OPPORTUNITIES.
Refusing to follow the lead of other publishers, we resist splitting our core journals to increase revenue. When possible, we eliminate redundancy and reduce the number of journals. In 1989, the Institute of Physics merged the JOURNAL OF PHYSICS C and F to form the JOURNAL OF PHYSICS: CONDENSED MATTER. They also combined PHYSICS BULLETIN and PHYSICS IN TECHNOLOGY to form PHYSICS WORLD.
3) WE IMPLEMENT COST-SAVING TECHNOLOGIES.
In December 1988, AIP purchased the Xyvision Automatic Page Makeup System that produces text pages, integrates graphics and text, and opens the door to future possibilities in electronic publishing. It also opens options for acceptance of electronic files from authors, editors, and other various media. For its part, IOP already accepts papers submitted in electronic form using TeX.
We are greatly encouraged by the library community's activist role in compiling data to clarify the present problem. We would welcome the opportunity to contribute to this effort.
As the library community asserts its authority, we will see the rise of more efficient servicing of information needs.
14.5 KAREN HUNTER RESPONDS TO SUMMARY OF FRED
Karen Hunter, Vice President and Assistant to the Chairman, Elsevier Science Publishing Company, Inc., 655 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10010
I received a copy of your latest newsletter from a friend and was sorry to see the quote of mine from PW. From the context in the newsletter, I think that what I said -- which Fred Kobrak already abbreviated and twisted -- has been misunderstood. I want to be sure that at least you know what was said to Fred and what I believe. It is certainly not that I think corporate librarians are in some way doing something better.
When Fred and I were talking, I made a totally non-judgmental observation based upon years of discussions and sales call reports. Specifically, I think the majority of industrial librarians have to work within corporate policies which make the expansion of "permanent" things -- staff and space -- much more difficult than the purchase of materials. Many do not even have a materials budget per se, they simply buy what is needed. But they are very often critically short of personnel and space (the latter because on a square-foot basis, corporate space is generally much more expensive than university space).
I MADE NO STATEMENT to Fred that said or should have implied that I thought corporate librarians were specifically saving on staff in order to spend more on materials. That kind of trade-off thinking isn't what I have heard. Rather, there are corporate rules and thinking which treat different types of expenses very differently and materials are easier to acquire.
By contrast, university libraries by their function must be much more staff-intensive. They have teaching and reference roles which are vital, much wider collection development responsibilities, circulation needs, etc. Ironically, I have been one of those who defends the ratio of materials to other expenses within the university because I know, from the years I worked there, the value added by the staff. To think that the universities should concentrate on reducing staff and overhead in order to increase the materials budgets is just not sensible and does not reflect my belief.
It is my perception that within universities, which understand and value the need for infrastructure and human resources (and have different sources of funding), the non-materials budget often seems somewhat less pressured. That is not to say it is at all easy -- only that comparatively one hears less about staff cutbacks, hiring or wage freezes or other of the less-fun aspects of corporate life than about materials cutbacks.
I have gone on longer than the brief newsletter mention warrants, but I admit to being very sad to see a misquote further misunderstood.
Readers of the NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING ISSUES are encouraged to share the information in the newsletter by electronic or paper methods. We would appreciate credit if you quote from the newsletter.
The NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING ISSUES (ISSN: 1046-3410) is published as news is available by the American Library Association's Association of Library Collections and Technical Services, Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Serials Pricing Issues. Editor: Marcia Tuttle, BITNET: TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET; Faxon's DataLinx: TUTTLE; ALANET: ALA0348; Paper mail: Serials Department, C.B. #3938 Davis Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC 27599-3938. Committee members are: Deana Astle (Clemson University), Mary Elizabeth Clack (Harvard University), Jerry Curtis (Consultant), Charles Hamaker (Louisiana State University), Robert Houbeck (University of Michigan), and Marcia Tuttle. EBSCONET customers may receive the newsletter in paper format from EBSCO. Back issues of the newsletter are available electronically free of charge through BITNET from the editor and in paper from ALCTS, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago IL 60611. Paper issues are priced at $5.00 per issue, per copy, prepaid. Billing charge: $2.00, plus postage.