Of all the subscription price increases for 1991, the action of the American Chemical Society regarding Analytical Chemistry has caused the most negative response to the Newsletter. Here are the most recent messages I have received:
From Barbara Lee, Library Director, The Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, 222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury MA 01545; LEE@WFEB2.BITNET:
I would like to bring to your attention a rate increase that I have recently become aware of. Analytical Chemistry is raising its institutional rate from $59.00 to $289.00 with no increase in issues. Numerous phone calls (it is published by the American Chemical Society), have produced the answer that they had not received the number of ads that they had hoped! This journal is of course still cheap by international standards but it is a very minimal production with lots of ads sprinkled in. It seems to me that ACS should subsidize the printing cost rather than trying to make a profit....
From Anne McKee, George Mason University; DataLinx: AMCKEE:
We were notified by Faxon that Analytical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society has increased from $59.00 to $289.00, an increase of ***450 PERCENT***. Needless to say, with the budget crisis here in the state of Virginia, we cannot maintain such an increase and I have already informed our chemistry department (which has had to cancel $3,600 already) that they will have to cancel either this title or another one. I have written a letter to the editor of this publication expressing our extreme dismay and will let you know if I receive a reply.
In the last issue Chuck Hamaker made some observations in HAMAKER'S HAYMAKERS about the distribution agreement Faxon had with Akademie-Verlag. Joel Baron, Director, Faxon's Publisher and Publication Services, sent this message:
I wanted you to know that although the German government had agreed to sell Akademie-Verlag to VCH, that that had nothing to do with the two-year marketing and distribution agreement we have through Kunst und Wissen. The agreement remains in effect. You might also be interested in knowing that we understand the VCH deal has now been questioned, and that the bidding process may begin all over again.
>From Bill Benson; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; DataLinx: FL2802:
Don't know if your readers are interested but I am looking at LC's new catalog and it says that "the 5-year, 1986-1990 cumulation of New Serial Titles will not be published. For a complete cumulation in paper, subscribers should retain the 1990 annual cumulation to use with the 4-year, 1986-89 cumulation. Beginning in 1991, NST will be cumulated annually in a new microfiche edition." I don't know about other serials librarians, but I am not ready to shoot off any fireworks about this news. I use NST a lot and certainly do not need to search it year by year on microfiche! Is this the big decision that LC made after sending out their lengthy survey? Did all of us say that is what we wanted? Will we still pay the same fee? Wouldn't most of us prefer hard copy or other alternatives like CD-ROM? Don't most of us prefer a cumulative set to annual cumulations? Perhaps LC has more in mind, but they don't say so in the catalog. And perhaps, if we raise our voices, we can make a difference (before it's too late) even if it costs a bit more.
Marie Maroscia of Brooklyn College Library; DataLinx: BROOK, asked me a question the other day, and we thought we would like to hear from you about the issue. Here's her message:
We have recently had to cancel many of our subscriptions because of budget constraints. Several faculty members have offered to pay for some titles they feel are vital to their students. We have some reservations about accepting their offer, since we feel it might be short-lived. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?
And here's another one. Did you see the "Fairy Tales" brochure sent out by Bowker recently? If not, this is what it says:
Starting today, you could be collecting BOWKER BONUS 1 CREDIT CERTIFICATES worth $5.00 each, and applying them to up to 50 percent of the cost of your next first-time purchase of an R.R. Bowker title! It's all part of Bowker's exciting BONUS 1 PROGRAM -- our way of helping you make the most of your acquisition dollars.
Why are we doing it?
To thank our customers for more than 100 years of continued support. And they love it! Launched July 1, 1989, Bowker's BONUS 1 PROGRAM already has more than 5,600 institutions as members to date and counting. Moreover, because of the response and increasing redemption of BONUS 1 CERTIFICATES, we've decided to extend the program through June 30, 1991 and open registration to include new members like yourself.
Becoming a BONUS 1 member is easy. Simply complete and mail the attached reply card and we'll send you your FREE BONUS 1 STARTER KIT. It includes your personal BOWKER BONUS 1 Identification Number and all the information you need to begin saving money on Bowker purchases immediately, plus a handy BONUS 1 File Folder to neatly store your certificates and BONUS 1 Bulletins. From time to time, you'll also receive special DOUBLE BONUS and EXTRA CREDIT Offers, available only to BONUS 1 PROGRAM members.
Save your CREDIT CERTIFICATES and use them to pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of any new Bowker product or any Bowker product you have not purchased since January 1, 1987.
That's all there is to it. There's no minimum order, no limited eligibility and no baffling forms to decipher.
Enrollment in the BONUS 1 PROGRAM is FREE, but you must register to be able to redeem the CREDIT CERTIFICATES contained in upcoming Bowker shipments.
So sign up today! Credit Certificates will be included in shipments of all our Bowker products only until March 31, 1991 and redeemable until June 30, 1991.
My question to you is this: Do programs such as this and Gordon and Breach's SIP really save us money? Or, does the time and hassle involved in participating in them cancel out any savings? I have not participated in any of these programs so far, believing them more trouble than they are worth. What do you think?
29.2 GERMAN COURT CALLS METHODOLOGY USED IN COMPARATIVE
PRICE SURVEY "FALSE AND MISLEADING"
Vicki Banner, Michael Klepper Associates, Inc., 805 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022
MONTREUX, Oct. 31 -- The methodology used by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and American Physical Society (APS) to prepare a 1988 comparative price survey of science journals was false and misleading and in addition was done for competitive purposes, a German civil court declared today. A detailed written opinion is expected shortly.
The court, which specializes in matter [sic] of unfair competition, delivered this opinion orally during the hearing. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers brought an action against these publishers for printing comparative price surveys, which in the opinion of Gordon and Breach, constituted inaccurate and unfair competitive advertising. The court confirmed in the hearing that this was true under German unfair competition law.
Although the court agreed that the survey methodology was false and misleading, and that the defendants acted with competitive intention, it dismissed the appeal primarily because the defendant had directed the surveys to the U.S. market and that the distribution in Germany was too limited.
"We're heartened that the court agreed with our contention that the survey methodology was flawed, but naturally we're disappointed about the dismissal," said Gordon and Breach Chairman, Martin Gordon. "From the beginning, our main purpose was to obtain a decision from a neutral party as to whether the surveys were fair or biased. We expect the written decision to discuss these matters in detail and hope that this conclusion will receive wide distribution."
Headquartered in Switzerland, Gordon and Breach is a worldwide group of companies publishing more than 300 hardcover books and nearly 200 journals, reviews and magazines annually.
29.3 APS AND AIP HOPE FOR FURTHER GORDON & BREACH
Submitted by Kenneth Ford, American Institute of Physics; KWF@AIP.BITNET.
The American Physical Society (APS), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and Professor Henry Barschall replied to a "news release" issued on behalf of Gordon & Breach Science Publishers (G & B) by a New York public relations firm. The release asserts that a German court has vindicated G & B's claim that a survey of the costs of science journals published in 1988 by APS and AIP was false and misleading and was prepared for competitive purposes. In fact, the German court affirmed the complete dismissal of G & B's suit. Dr. Harry Lustig, the APS Treasurer, said, "I hope that G & B has more successes of exactly the same kind."
The survey concerned the costs of science journals to American academic libraries and was prepared by Henry Barschall, a professor at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). It revealed that G & B's journals were significantly more expensive on average, in terms of cost per thousand characters, than the physics journals of 23 other publishers. Rather than accepting an offer by APS and AIP that G & B submit a letter outlining its disagreements with the survey for publication by APS and AIP (without cost to G & B), G & B initiated suits in Germany, Switzerland and France.
Professor Barschall, who attended the proceeding in Frankfurt on October 25, said that the statements attributed in the "news release" to Martin Gordon, the G & B Chairman, suggested that perhaps Mr. Gordon had some difficulty in following the German in which the proceedings were conducted. Barschall stated, "The Court did not determine that the price survey was illegal advertising and it certainly did not find that my work was false and misleading. What it did do, in an announcement issued two hours after the hearing ended, was to dismiss Gordon & Breach's case." All the parties are awaiting a written opinion from the Frankfurt court.
Dr. Lustig, who also attended the hearing, observed, "If Gordon & Breach considers the actions in Germany to be a victory, we can only wish them the same success in Switzerland and France."
For further information, contact Dr. Harry Lustig, APS Treasurer, at (212) 682-7341.
29.4 SERIALS USERS DISCUSSION GROUP
Birdie MacLennan, University of Vermont Library, Burlington BMACLENN@UVMVM.BITNET.
A Serials Users Discussion Group has recently been established on BITNET via Computer Operations support at the University of Vermont. Those who are interested may subscribe to the group by issuing the command: tell listserv@uvmvm subscribe SERIALST First name Last name. SERIALST is intended to serve as an electronic forum for most aspects of serials processing in libraries. Topics may include such things as: cataloging, acquisitions, collection management, binding, preservation, microfilm, union listing, etc. The SERIALST discussion group should not deal with serials pricing issues as this topic is already covered in the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues.
29.5 PRICE INCREASES REDUX
Deana Astle, Clemson University Library; DLAST@CLEMSON.BITNET.
Just got some more price increase notices from Faxon. Some are pretty scary. International Journal of Fracture (Kluwer Academic Publishers), is doubling its issues from 12 to 24 with 1991, while the price is going from $437.49 to $1,112.37, a 154 percent increase! Biopolymers (John Wiley, US) is going from one volume of 14 issues to 2 volumes of 28 issues, while the price is rising from $775 to $1,575, a 103 percent increase. Energy Sources (Taylor and Francis, UK) is staying a quarterly, but increasing in price from $120 to $190, a 58 percent increase! Concurrency (Wiley UK) is becoming a bimonthly rather than a quarterly, and increasing from $155 to $270, a 74 percent increase. Even though most of these publishers could "justify" their price increases on the basis of increased value received with more issues, the bottom line in these times of static or declining budgets is that we cannot afford to pay these prices. Why, when the exchange rate is placing such a burden on us, do these publishers make the situation worse by increasing the size of their journals? Authors may like the more rapid publication of their work, but soon there will be no one to buy it.
29.6 A ROLE FOR THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Daniel H. Jones, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio; JONES@UTHSCSA.BITNET.
The most recent wave of cost increases and subscription cancellations seems to be taking a great toll. This year's loss in the value of the dollar certainly makes American products more attractive abroad, but for scientific, technical and medical libraries which rely heavily on journals published abroad the effect will be devastating. The prospects of maintaining even core STM collections (not to mention comprehensive or research level collections) at this point seems questionable in many American universities. Yet it is ironic that much of the published research originates in these same American universities that are increasingly unable to afford to purchase it. What seems even more ironic is the general lack of concern expressed by scientists and researchers.
Since 1986 librarians, both individually and collectively, have been vocal advocates in the interests of their users. But in my opinion the users have been too silent too long. Certainly, we librarians must continue our efforts. But we do not control the flow of manuscripts or the publishing industry, nor would I advocate that we should try. The group with the greatest amount of control is the scientific community and I think it is time for them to address the issues.
To this end I have written the presidents of our national academies (names and addresses below) urging them to set as a priority to examine the erosion of American university library collections over the past decade. Perhaps their distinguished members can propose alternatives to control further erosion.
I also urged them to expand their publishing program. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is clearly one of the leading scientific journals in the world. But I would like to see the Academy publish more discipline-oriented journals such as a brain and neuroscience journal or a journal of biochemistry and biophysics, to name only two. Perhaps the prestige of Academy sponsorship will attract authors to more reasonably priced journals that are equally respectable.
If you want to express your concerns, write to the following:
Frank Press, President
National Academy of Sciences
Robert M. White, President
National Academy of Engineering
Samuel O. Thier, President
Institute of Medicine
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington DC 20418
29.7 TRENDS IN PRICING?...
Susan Anderes, Lane Medical Library, Stanford University Medical Center; email@example.com.
Elsevier has recently changed their distribution policy for the titles:
Trends in Biochemical Sciences
Trends in Biotechnology
Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Trends in Genetics
Trends in Neurosciences
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Elsevier was willing in the past to accept orders from libraries for the "personal edition." This edition includes only the twelve monthly issues. Beginning in 1991 Elsevier will only accept "institutional/library edition" subscriptions from libraries. This edition includes the twelve monthly issues, an annual compendium volume (that has some pages removed), and an index.
Our institution wanted only the monthly issues, and we have subscribed to the personal edition until now. We did not want the bound compendium volume (with advertising removed) and preferred to bind the monthly issues ourselves. It looks as if we no longer have that option.
Now all orders for the personal edition must be placed directly with the publisher and the edition "is only available to individuals who order directly from the publisher and prepay with personal funds."
The 1990 price for the personal edition of Trends in Genetics was $79.00. For the institutional/library edition it was $ ... 337. The other titles have similar price differences between the personal and library editions although some were listed in British pounds rather than US dollars. The 1991 price for each of these titles is $403 for the institutional edition.
I asked John Tagler of Elsevier New York to send me information on Elsevier's official policy. He says the strategy was to keep the institutional/library price "comparable with the current price levels for other quality monthly scientific publications." Personal editions are discounted to keep the numbers of subscribers high enough to attract advertisers and are subsidized by that advertising. "Without institutional subscribers, there would not be a TRENDS series."
Elsevier will now accept additional subscriptions at the personal edition price as long as there is an institutional subscription at the same ship-to address, and it must be ordered directly from the publisher in England.
I would like to see Elsevier make available a library edition comprised of only the monthly issues. It also seems that advertising revenues should be subsidizing all editions, since they appear in all editions and readers of library copies see the advertising. I have written the following letter to the editor of the Elsevier TRENDS Division.
Dr. David Bousfield
Elsevier Trends Journals
68 Hills Road
Cambridge CB2 1IA England
Dear Dr. Bousfield:
I am concerned about the changes you have made in your pricing policy for Trends journals and concerned about the 16.3 percent increase in the 1991 institutional price over 1990 for most of the titles. For those of us who have subscribed to the personal edition until now, the change in price from $79 to $403 is a shock.
I would like to suggest that in future you offer libraries and institutions an alternative. Lane Medical Library, and probably many other libraries, would like a reduced institutional price and to receive only the monthly issues. We have no use for the compendium volume and prefer not to pay for it.
While I am aware of the reasons why publishers have different rates for personal and institutional subscriptions, I find it wasteful to send incomplete bound volumes to libraries, when those libraries want the issues as originally published and prefer to bind the issues themselves.
As long as these journals include advertising, the prices for all subscriptions should be subsidized. Do advertisers or Elsevier believe that readers of library copies do not see the advertising? Advertisers probably get more exposure from library copies than from personal copies.
I look forward to seeing changes in the pricing structure for these journals in 1991.
Susan M. Anderes
Head of Periodicals
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.
Published as news is available by the American Library Association's Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Serials Pricing Issues. Editor: Marcia Tuttle, e-mail: 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; telephone: (919) 962-1067; FAX: (919) 962-0484. Committee members are: Deana Astle (Clemson University), Mary Elizabeth Clack (Harvard University), Jerry Curtis (Springer-Verlag New York), 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.