19.1 FROM THE EDITOR
Well, for all of you loyal BITNET subscribers who may have believed, with, me that the multiple copies problem was over, I'm sorry. However, I have once again been assured that there is plenty of disk space and this issue will go out only once and very quickly. I guess I'd better ask you again to let me know if you get more than one copy. If you get multiple messages with the subject: NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING ISSUES, NO. 19, you can go ahead and delete all except one. I will never send later editions or supplements. Each mailing will have its own consecutive number. That's a promise. Usually getting messages is fun, but this got downright depressing!
On the other matter I asked you to respond to, I am still counting up the copies of the newsletter that you forward electronically and in paper. At this point, e-mail is leading paper, a good sign! At last count you have reported forwarding the newsletter to 168 other persons, many of whom send it, in turn, to even more readers. Several of you mentioned institutional administrators, faculty members, editorial boards, publishers, and other nonlibrarians who receive copies.
A lot of other comments came in the mail after issue no. 18 went out, and I would like to pass on some of them here. Sidney C. Abrahams, former editor of ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA and currently at the University of Tubingen, sent this message:
I would strongly second Fred Spilhaus' proposal that scientists decline to publish in, review for, or purchase low-quality high- cost journals. I would add that scientists could very well also be advised to decline all offers to be associated with the editorial boards of such journals in addition to withholding any recommendation to their libraries to purchase them.Clarification about the G & B lawsuit against the American Mathematical Society comes from Mary Lane of AMS:
We have not been served formally with the papers but G & B's lawyer has sent us copies of the documents filed in the German courts. The suit has two parts: one the injunction against distributing their pricing surveys and a second part for citing unfair competition.Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota - St. Paul campus, sends a follow-up report to her article in the last issue:
I have received responses from six of our faculty who took the time to write lengthy letters, so the article served its purpose of both raising "consciousness" and provoking reflection on the causes and consequences of the situation. We have been pleasantly surprised. This effort seems to have been far more effective than our other attempts!19.2 GORDON AND BREACH RESPONSE TO AMERICAN LIBRARIES EDITORIAL
Because of NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING ISSUES's immediate readership and the objective forum that it has for its contributors, we offer the following comments on Tom Gaughan's editorial in the March issue of AMERICAN LIBRARIES, "A Splendid Wake for a Corporate Suicide."
Gordon and Breach's actions following publication of the serials price survey in PHYSICS TODAY were guided by a single principle: fairness. We sincerely believe that the survey's methodology was superficial, unscientific, and grievously flawed, and after detecting these flaws sought correction, which was denied.
It is only because we believe such surveys constitute unfair comparative advertising that we initiated civil suits against the AIP, APS, and Mr. Barschall, in jurisdictions where their survey was widely distributed and where the primary form of relief available to a publisher is a correction of any misstatements. Make no mistake: Gordon and Breach brought suit against a competing publisher, who is falsely stating that our prices are much higher than they really are.
There also seems to be confusion over a questionnaire distributed by the Foundation for International Scientific Cooperation. The Foundation has announced that it will create an international panel ts define and develop criteria for future surveys that assess the relative cost-effectiveness of science publications. Having suggested that a panel be formed by the Foundation, Gordon and Breach mailed (albeit prematurely) the questionnaire which was sent to librarians who, as ANONYMOUS respondents, will assist the panel in their endeavor. Had we been performing insidious covert activities, surely we would not have used our own postage meter, and, indeed, surely would have requested the librarian's name and affiliation.
Simply stated, we intend to protect our business from inaccurate comparison and intend to foster exacting survey methodology. And if, as Mr. Gaughan says, "the social system of scientists values the free exchange of differing views," we feel that their professional system values, above all, the adherence to rigorous methodology.
19.3 FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC
FORMING INDEPENDENT PANEL TO CONDUCT PRICE SURVEYS OF SCIENCE
News release from Michael Kiepper Associates, Inc., Marketing Communications, 805 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022; telephone: (212) 644-1100; FAX: (212) 644-1866; contact: Frank Forest, Vicki Banner.
NEW YORK, March 6 -- The Foundation for International Scientific Cooperation announced today that it will create an independent, international panel to define and develop criteria for future surveys that assess the relative cost-effectiveness of science publications. The panel was conceived and proposed to the Foundation by Gordon & Breach Science Publishers.
Panelists, said Dr. Maurice Levy, executive director of the Foundation, will include international representatives from the scientific community, the publishing industry, and survey groups. Professor Lewis Klein of Howard University has been selected to chair the panel.
"During the past decade, rising prices have put pressure on institutions and individual readers to purchase more selectively, thereby cutting down on the number of subscriptions," said Levy. "We need to establish a classification for different types of journals based on publication price and the scope of content. This will allow consumers to more accurately judge comparative value."
Said Dr. Klein: "This move is long overdue, given the growing number of journals and increasing market segmentation. It's ironic that we're only now introducing the scientific method to the assessment of science publications."
The Foundation for International Scientific Cooperation is a non-profit organization that encourages an appreciation and understanding of science among international audiences. It is currently analyzing the results of a survey designed to assist the panel's members.
19.4 REPLY TO TOM GAUGHAN'S EDITORIAL AND NEWS STORY IN `AMERICAN LIBRARIES ,' Maurice Levy, Director, Foundation for International Scientific Cooperation, c/o Frank Forestieri, Michael Klepper Associates, Inc., Marketing Communications, 805 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022; telephone: (212) 644-1100; FAX: (212) 644-1866.
March 16, 1990 Dear Sirs: This communication is in reply to Tom Gaughan's editorial and news story in the March issue of AMERICAN LIBRARIES. I am the Director of the Foundation for International Scientific Cooperation which has been commissioned by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers to Assemble an impartial, international panel to analyze and define criteria for surveys that assess the relative cost effectiveness of scientific publications. It was the hope of the company that this would put an end to acrimony and develop objective criteria for future surveys. As part of this exercise, they mailed for the Foundation, a questionnaire to librarians to ascertain some of the basic background information of the study. This questionnaire was not solely directed to the American Institute of Physics Study as has been reported by your journal, but included other studies and asked librarians to provide still other studies which had also been influential in their decisions. The survey also requested names of publications of all publishers which had been cancelled as a result of such surveys. The purpose was to see if there was a pattern which perhaps had as much to do with quality as with price. The questionnaire was totally anonymous. Respondents were not asked to supply their names or addresses and a postpaid return envelope to the Foundation's address in Washington was supplied by Gordon and Breach so that the confidence could be preserved. Gordon and Breach has now been accused of seeking information by his (SIC) means for its lawsuit against what it proports (SIC) to be an unfair survey published by the AIP. I do not believe this is true. This information is only being used for statistical analysis for our panel. There is no way a response from an unknown person in a jurisdiction in which there was no lawsuit can be used in any way. I believe the problem occurred because someone at Gordon and Breach prematurely mailed the questionnaire before final authorization had been received from the board. In fact, all of the Directors had not been fully apprised of the situation. The panel is presently being assembled under the coordination of Professor Lewis Klein of Howard University. I hope the survey will provide an objective method for the evaluation of scientific literature and a valid basis for price comparison between publications. Sincerely, (signed) Maurice Levy/FF Maurice Levy Director ML/ff19.5 NEWS FROM ARL'S OFFICE OF SCHOLARLY AND ACADEMIC PUBLICATION
1. As reported in Newsletter 18, the (British) Library Association has approved the sale of much of its publishing program (i.e., LISA, BRITISH HUMANITIES INDEX, etc.) to Bowker-Saur (owned by Butterworths owned by Reed). The sale is to be concluded shortly. This matter was recently reported in "Council approves sale of LAPL serials," by George Cunningham, in the LIBRARY ASSOCIATION RECORD, 92 (1) January 1990, p. 4. (Thanks to Chuck Hamaker for this.) Librarians concerned about a sale of not-for-profit serials to the for-profit sector -- past experience tells us that this is a certain road to substantial price increases -- ought to write to:
Russell Bowden, Executive Director, The Library Association, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, ENGLAND WC1E 7AE.2. The Publishing Enterprise in General, and Where It Is Going.
(a) "The Great Publishing Crash of 1989," by Frank Kiernan, in 7 DAYS, January 24, 1990, pp. 12-19. (This is a weekly New York magazine.) This piece examines takeovers, large advances, high stakes, and an industry facing financial difficulties as a result.
(b) "Debate Grows in Publishing Over Tough Business Tactics," by Roger Cohen, in THE NEW YORK TIMES, Monday, March 5, 1990, pp. A1 & D9. The article suggests that there may not be the proper business expertise in the industry now that the stakes are so high. Both articles deal, at least indirectly, with the matter of publishing "quality" books and literature.
3. Scholarship, how "good" and how "necessary" is it?
(a) Schaefer, William D., "Much `Scholarship' in the Humanities is Done Badly and Probably Shouldn't Be Done at All," in THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 7, 1990, pp. B1-3. A former executive director of MLA and currently a professor of English at UCLA describes the PMLA effort to publish only articles good enough and significant enough for the entire membership. He views with despair the "twaddle" that passes for scholarship.
(b) Shenefelt, Michael, "Confessions of a Teacher," in NEWSWEEK, March 5, 1990, pp. 10-11 (Column called "My Turn"). Should 203 scholarly articles about Milton really have been written, let alone published, in 1988? What does this suggest about the quality of writing and teaching in our colleges?
Both the above articles are interesting in that they offer a humanities viewpoint, as opposed to the similar comments about sciences that we are more used to reading.
4. Peer Review. A major contribution in this field in the newest issue of JAMA (JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION), March 9, 1990, vol. 263, no. 10. The entire special issue is devoted to publishing selected proceedings from last May's First International Congress on Peer Review in Biomedical Publication. For the first time, a collection of considered comments and research on peer review appears. The organizers plan to hold the second conference in 1992.
5. National Science Board. SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING INDICATORS, 1989. Washington DC, USGPO, 1990, just released. Always worth perusing for trends in science and engineering education, employment, R & D, markets, and public policy, this biennial for the first time (article on pp. 112-13, "Library Costs for Serials") highlights the problem of scientific journal costs for libraries and the ARL work on this front.
6. NISO Standard, ANSI Z39.16-1979, AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD FOR THE PREPARATION OF SCIENTIFIC PAPERS FOR WRITTEN OR ORAL PRESENTATION. This standard has been circulated to ARL for ballot and revision. Rather than commenting on it, I am quoting selected portions:
2. IMPORTANCE OF THE WORK TO BE REPORTED. Before preparing scientific or technical papers, authors should consider whether they have meaningful advances in knowledge to report . . . 2.3. AVOIDANCE OF DUPLICATE PUBLICATION. A manuscript should not be submitted for publication if the work described (or a substantial portion of it) has already been published or accepted for publication elsewhere. . . 2.4. RESTRAINT IN NUMBER OF PAPERS PUBLISHED. The description of a single series of experiments -- even if the series is extensive -- should not be distributed over two or more papers unless this would substantially aid readers and facilitate their comprehension. . . Publication of fragmentary work should be avoided.The statement of purpose says that the standard is directed primarily at authors, a group generally not falling within the scope of NISO. Since most authors are unaware of the standard and both they and publishers do not necessarily follow it, ought it to be abandoned -- or, how can it be promoted?
19.6 DUPLICATES EXCHANGE UNION
Karen Muller, ALCTS Executive Director, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago IL 60611; BITNET: U19466@UICVM.
Issues ago the Newsletter queried readers about alternatives to USBE. Here's information on one.
The Duplicates Exchange Union (DEU), a voluntary, nonprofit network of libraries for the exchange of periodicals, books, documents, and other library material, invites new memberships.
Each DEU member prepares a list of material available for exchange at least once a year and sends this list to each of the other members. Other members may request items from the offering library, and the items are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Items are shipped library rate, and the only cost is postage, which must be refunded if the amount exceeds $1.00. Begun in 1942, the DEU is sponsored by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association.
The DEU is open to all types and sizes of libraries. Interested librarians can receive a descriptive brochure from : Duplicates Exchange Union, ALCTS, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago IL 60611.
19.7 UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA'S `SAVE THE LIBRARY' RALLY
Randy Reichardt, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; BITNET: USERLRAN@UALTAMTS.
On February 28, a "Save the Library" Rally was held on the steps of the Administration Building of the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Between 400 and 500 people watched as speaker after speaker made pleas to the President of the University to help stop the Library from deteriorating. Each speaker told of how cuts and shrinking collections affected his or her research, and many stressed that the Library is the "heart and soul" of the University.
Speakers included five faculty members, the President of the Graduate Students' Association, the Acting Chief Librarian, and the President of the University. Stephen Downes, the GSA President, displayed a handful of books that he had to purchase in Vancouver, not available at the University of Alberta. Dr. Werner Israel, University Professor of Physics, noted that while the Library budget actually has not been cut in actual dollars, the money spent on sci-tech subscriptions between 1982 and 1989 went up 74 percent, while the average cost of those journals went up 133 percent, four times the cost of living. Dr. Israel: "Up to this decade, we had a Library to be proud of, the second finest in the country and one of the best on the continent. Now we are headed downwards. In 1988, we spent $670 per student on the Library; McGill spent $790, Toronto $800, and the University of British Columbia $840. These figures tell their own story."
Dr. Israel also cited his recent stay at Kyoto University, where most facilities were in various stages of deterioration, except the library, which he noted "...was a model, with a complete range of everything essential and no effort spared to keep the collection up to date. The Japanese understand the priorities of an academic institution and how to distribute limited resources."
Juliet McMaster of the Department of English presented President Paul Davenport with a Save the Library petition that included over 2,100 names. The Save the Library Committee intends to continue its fight to secure better funding for the Library. It was also noted that the Library cancelled serials in 1987 and 1989, and plans to do so again in 1990. In 1987, 8 percent of periodical subscriptions were lost, and 10 percent in 1989; this year, 10 to 20 percent more could go.
19.8 DIFFERENTIAL PRICING WORKSHOP AT IFLA
Nancy Anderson, University of Illinois Library, Champaign/Urbana; BITNET: NDANDERS@UIUCVMD.
For those attending the 1990 IFLA General Conference this summer in Stockholm, there is an all day workshop on Thursday, August 23, for the first 50 persons to sign up. This workshop is sponsored by Acquisition and Exchange jointly with Serial Publications, UAP Office, and Liber. Theme: `Will the Chain Break? Differential pricing as part of a new pricing structure for research literature and its consequences for the future of academic communication.' The morning program will be the presentation of the final report on the differential pricing project (questionnaire results and analysis) and discussion (contribution by publishers, booksellers, librarians, authors, and editors). The afternoon topic will be the consequences of the differential pricing policy for the future of academic communication. REGISTER WITH: Mr. Ulrich Montag, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Postfach 340150, D-8000 Munich 71, Federal Republic of Germany.
19.9 JOHN T. ZUBAL, INC. BUYS USBE
October Ivins, Louisiana State University Library, Baton Rouge LA; BITNET: NOTORI@LSUVM. (Extracted from her regular "Serials Prices" column in SERIALS REVIEW, vol. 16, no. 1.)
A call to follow up on reader responses to the discussion of USBE's bankruptcy in column 6 (SR 15, no. 4: 65-68) produced some surprising and welcome information. John T. Zubal, proprietor of the firm that bears his name, purchased part of the stock, name, and mailing list of bankrupt USBE (Universal Serials and Book Exchange), as approved by the bankruptcy judge on March 16, 1990. The operation has been moved from Washington DC to Cleveland OH, and is expected to become operational on April 2, 1990. Mr. Zubal states: "We are responding to a need in the library community and plan to operate the new USBE on a membership basis." USBE will be managed by Mr. Zubal's wife, Marilyn Zubal, who has been in charge of the back issue department of their firm for twenty-five years. Both John and Marilyn Zubal will attend the June 1990 meeting of the North American Serials Interest Group. Mr. Zubal will run John T. Zubal, Inc., which will continue to be operated as an independent firm specializing in antiquarian books and serial back files.
Plans call for USBE to accept library duplicates and charge a set issue price of $7.00, which is higher than the old USBE price of $5.00, but still "reasonable." Since USBE records are in disarray, the new USBE will accept library orders at the member rate throughout the remainder of 1990. Membership renewals will be mailed during Fall 1990 for 1991; a membership fee of $100 is anticipated. Memberships will be restricted to institutional, corporate, and medical libraries. Inquiries may be sent to Marilyn Zubal; USBE; 2969 West 25th Street, Cleveland OH 44113-5332; telephone: (216) 241-6960; FAX: (216) 241-6966.
19.10 NORTH AMERICAN SERIALS INTEREST GROUP FIFTH
JUNE 2- 5, 1990, from conference announcements
We are pleased to announce final plans for the Fifth Annual NASIG Conference to be held June 2-5, 1990, at Brock University, St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada. Brock can accommodate 573 people in the main sessions and provide overnight accommodations for at least 420.
Brock University is situated on top of the Niagara escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario, approximately 11 miles from Niagara Falls. The university can be reached in less than one-and-a-half hours from both the Toronto and Buffalo International Airports. Niagara Falls, the Welland Canal, Fort George and Old Fort Niagara, historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw Festival, several major Canadian wineries, shopping, cultural activities, and major sporting events in either Torontoor Buffalo, are all nearby. We are featuring three popular sites for our tours, as well as a special opportunity to attend the Shaw Festival. For further registration information please contact Esther Sleep (Canada) at (416) 688-5550, ext. 3718 or Susan Davis (U.S.) (716) 636-2786.
Program Highlights: Sunday, June 3 Keynote Speaker: Lucretia McClure, Director, Edward G. Miner Library, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester; President-Elect, Medical Library Association The Crisis of Rising Serial Prices in a Canadian Context. Gayle Garlock, Associate Librarian, Collection Development and Preservation, University of Toronto CISTI: Meeting the Needs of the Canadian Scientific and Technical Community. Brenda Hurst, Head, Acquisitions, Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information The Elephant and the Mouse Revisited: Periodical Prices and the Canadian Market. Becky Rogers, Space Planning and Administrative Librarian, and Patricia Grieg, Associate Director for Public Services, University of Western Ontario The EDI Horizon: Implementing an ANSI X12 Pilot Project at Faxon. Frederick E. Schwartz, Manager, Electronic Data Interchange Service, The Faxon Company Managing Electronic Subscriptions. Patricia E. Sabosik, Editor and Publisher, CHOICE Monday, June 4 Panel: The Peer Review Process: Strengths and Weaknesses Lewis Gidez, Director of Publications, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Bruce Squires, Editor-in-chief, CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL Bruce Dancik, Chair, Department of Forest Service, University of Alberta Ann C. Weller, Deputy Librarian for the Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago Tuesday, June 5 A Longitudinal Study of Journal Prices in a Research Library. Kenneth Marks, University Librarian, and Steve Nielsen, Fiscal Officer, Utah State University A Cost-per-Use Method for Weeding a Journal Collection. Dorothy Milne, Science Collections Librarian, and Bill Tiffany, Head, Acquisitions/Periodicals, Memorial Univerity of Newfoundland Serials Cataloging: Time for a New Perspective! Sheila S. Intner, Associate Professor, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Residential rate for the conference is: Single room $US220, $Can255; double room $US190, $Can$220. Closing date for registration is May 15.----------------------------------------------------------------
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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.