Lots of fascinating short messages this time. First, the corrections.
>From Jana Stevens at Hofstra University (LIBADJSR@HOFSTRA.BITNET):
Chuck Hamaker mentioned an excellent article in PW. He notes that it is in the February 2 issue. Actually it is in the February 8th issue. The title is, "The Library 'Doomsday Machine.'">From Susan Davis at SUNY Buffalo (UNLSDB@UBVM.BITNET):
Sharon Bonk at Albany pointed out a potentially misleading statement in Mary Beth Clack's report of the ACRL Journal Costs Discussion Group, referring to Ann Okerson's description of the SUNY Fax Project. While yes, we all currently subscribe to the titles involved, the current issues are not sequestered, just pre-1988 volumes. If folks refer back to the original report (in the Newsletter) I'm sure it would be clear, but there's no harm in being absolutely clear and accurate.>From Lelde Gilman, UCLA (ECZ5LBG@UCLAMVS.BITNET):
I guess you have seen the February 12, 1991 (page B5) New York Times article on citations, or footnotes, and Eugene Garfield's correction of the Science interpretation of ISI's data. Shot down again, it turns out that among the 55 percent of uncited articles are insubstantive things such as meeting abstracts, newsletters, etc., and this says that his data are always misinterpreted! I wonder ifThanks to Kate McCain at Drexel (MCCAINKW@DUVM.BITNET) for doing some legwork to get specific information about the future production of ISI's Journal Citation Reports. Most of us will have gotten the company's letter by now, but here's Kate's "report":
will be forced to retract?! Maybe he got some bad feedback from publishers? After all, journals will cease to be published and analyzed for citedness and uncitedness, etc. The U.S. is right behind Switzerland and Sweden. Among the top ten nations no one except Western Europe (and few countries only), U.S., Canada, and Australia are players. I am assuming that the rest of the world's researchers have an opportunity to publish in the journals produced in the top ten countries. This reinforces my opinion about what we can live without.
Here's the latest word from a customer services rep. The 89 JCR is being shipped in spring to all hard copy subscribers as per usual (though late and in a novel format) as part of their subscription.Renee Mansheim at Eastern Virginia Medical School Library (MANSHEIM@EVMSVMS.BITNET) had this excellent suggestion, which we are adopting now:
In 1988 or thereabouts, subscribers were sent a form letter telling them that, as part of the 1990 SCI/SSCI, the JCR would be issued as a separate item and not as part of "the subscription" -- format and price to be announced later. The CS rep said that, based on a paper she was holding, the price for the 1990 JCR for SCI and SSCI was to be $195 + s & h, TO HARD COPY SUBSCRIBERS. She didn't know the price for non-subscribers and was unclear about the status of SCI/CD-ROM subscribers. She did say that a letter would be going out soon with all this information .... What we all have to look forward to now is how to efficiently USE this product in microfiche. On the one hand, a good reader/ printer would give hard copy at a useful magnification for a page or two of interest, but this requires that one have such a reader/printer. A RESEARCHER's access may be more problematic, since I now sit with 2 years' worth at hand in a format that I can curl up with or transport home. Oh, well, I'm just grateful that it's being produced at all.
I was pleased to see an appeal to publishers to display their ISSN prominently. This is not a major issue, but it is an annoyance. In line with that, would the Newsletter please include the ISSN of the titles discussed in the text? It would make it simpler to track whether the title is part of our own collection, etc. There are so many similar titles and transformations of titles. It is easy to mistake one for another.>From now on I hope contributors will include the ISSN for titles they mention. If they don't, I will. The ISSN in this issue were all added by me.
This price increase announcement was sent by Bessie Carrington at Duke University (BMC@MAIL.LIB.DUKE.EDU):
We have just received notification that the price of Applied Economics (0003-6846), published by Chapman and Hall, is increasing from $425 (1990) to $730 (1991). A partial explanation for the increase may lie in the exchange rate, but the number of issues is increasing from 12 to 14 issues per year. In addition, they are including a subscription to a new, as yet to appear journal, Applied Financial Economics. Maybe this is a journal we would want to subscribe to on its own, but it should not be bundled automatically into an existing ongoing subscription. I have been reading about science journals adding issues as a justification for price increases, but adding a whole new title? Is this common?Looks like it. My library had no price increase notice, but there was a message that the number of issues would double in 1991, including the new title. We received a message about a similar situation with Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (0031-0182) from Elsevier Science Publishers, Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, in Amsterdam:
The increased size of PALAEO 3 is due to the growth of its daughter-journal, Global and Planetary Change (0921-8181), which forms part of the PALAEO 3 subscription. The Global and Planetary Change section complements and extends the scope of PALAEO 3, and as it deals with research areas which are currently the subject of great scientific interest accompanied by a growth in research, the journal has been enlarged in order to keep pace with the increased demand of scientists for publication.Aw, c'mon, take a chance. Cut 'er loose.
Renee, you'll notice that I found the ISSN for three of the titles mentioned above. Applied Financial Economics apparently is too new for the ISSN to be in standard databases and reference sources.
Jim Mouw, University of Chicago (MOUW@MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU), has a fascinating puzzlement, first sent out on SERIALST:
Over the past few weeks we have been noticing significant delays in the delivery of U.S. Mail (yes, even more so than usual). Word has now come from the Chicago Postmaster's Office that we can expect continued delays as the Post Office is on "standard wartime procedures" and has been since January 16th. We have yet to figure out what these procedures are or why they were necessary. Can anyone else shed any light on this?A few days later an answer appeared on SERIALST from Gaele Gillespie at the University of Kansas (GGILLESP@UKANVM.BITNET):
Re: U.S. Post Office's "standard wartime procedures." Although I do not know precisely what these entail, our main post offices have "boarded up" all the inside mail slots/ drops so that everything must be deposited in the mailboxes outside; or, if a local postmark is wanted/needed, one must take it to the counter to have it done. The sign over the inside mail slots reflects only: "Until further notice ..." or, "For the time being these are no longer in service. Customers must use the outside mail drops ... etc." No further details are provided. Since this happened soon after January 16, I surmised it was SOP (standard operating procedure) to safeguard against postal bombs. Where such "standard wartime procedures" regarding the U.S. Postal Service might be found, I don't know, except I'm sure the Government Documents librarians might clue us all in on where such information could be found!In the last issue of the Newsletter I added a brief message to the edition that is mounted on ALANET asking for response from readers. I had had no feedback from readers of this edition since immediately after the first issue available there, number 8, and I wondered if this were the best use of ALCTS money. In the seventeen days since that message went out, I have had seven responses. Three of them said they were about to get BITNET or Internet addresses and would subscribe that way (one has already done so), one was a university librarian and strong ALCTS member, one was deputy director ALA Washington Office, one was a commercial firm trying to get a BITNET id through a local university, and one was Alan Ventress at the State Library of New South Wales, who downloads each issue and redistributes it to several Australian librarians.
I'm worried about the Australians. We have tried and tried to work out some feasible method of communication between BITNET and their ILANET, but we have failed. If anyone can help with this, I would like to know and so, I'm sure, would Alan (ALA1187).
33.2 SERIAL PRICE INCREASES:
Philip R. Dankert, Martin P. Catherwood Library, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, Ithaca NY; L2SY@CORNELLA.BITNET.
Much of the news we read with regard to serial price increases is centered on STM titles and several specific publishers. Here is some information from the social/behavioral sciences "arena" and, more specifically, business/industrial relations.
In September 1990 the Martin P. Catherwood Library at Cornell University cancelled our subscriptions to the following five MCB University Press titles;
Employee Relations (0142-5455)
Equal Opportunities International (0261-0159)
International Journal of Manpower (0143-7320)
Journal of Managerial Psychology (0268-3946)
Personnel Review (0048-3486)
Originally the 1990 subscription rate for these titles was $2,201.75. In October 1990 MCB requested a rate adjustment totalling $968.00 (to $3,169.75) or 43.97 percent; for Employee Relations and International Journal of Manpower it was 59.58 percent (in both cases from $563.95 to $899.95).
I have just learned that the overall price increase for the same five titles for 1991 is $1,369.00, or from $3,169.75 to $4,538.75. Again, for these two titles referred to in the preceeding paragraph it is 46.66 percent (from $899.95 to $1,319.95).
I wrote to the publisher expressing my concern over such large increases but did not, nor did I really expect to, receive a response.
33.3 SPECIAL MAIL DELIVERY QUESTIONED
Message received from a European subscription agent.
(Could you put) some sort of notice in the next issue of your Newsletter to alert people in the Serials Department that they should check with their mail room or with the university to find out what type of mail service is being used for mail being sent overseas. During the last six months or so, we have seen a change in the postmark of mail received. There are obviously many universities that are now subscribing to some type of private bulk delivery of mail to Europe. The unfortunate thing is that the date on the letters is usually six or eight weeks old by the time they are received in our offices....All of the mail that is being delayed so long bears an unusual postmark of Rotterdam and shows a return address of P.O. Box 71120 in Rotterdam. This special return address is stamped on the envelope in addition to the normal library return address. The special posting stamp is obviously placed on the envelope in Rotterdam, as there is no indication of regular postage being fixed to the envelope whatsoever.
An example of just how long the delivery takes is a first class letter dated January 4th by the library bearing the Rotterdam stamp on the envelope of January 13. The delivery to our address was February 2nd! This is one of the better examples. There are many other examples where the total difference in time from the date on the library letter to the date of receipt was as much as six weeks.
The letters from libraries in North America that are being sent through regular airmail postal delivery, however, are being received within four to six days.
If a library is using this "special mail delivery" for its correspondence to Europe, it really has to take this into consideration when it comes to letters cancelling titles, placing claims or placing orders! There are several major universities that appear to be using this "special" service. The libraries definitely need to be aware of this situation, since they will have to adjust their procedures to allow for this unusually long delay in mail delivery.
33.4 THE FAXON INSTITUTE 1991 ANNUAL
Ellen Koup, The Faxon Company, 15 Southwest Park, Westwood MA 02090; DataLinx: KOUP.
If you are a decision maker or manager concerned with creating a quality electronic access system for users, then plan to attend the 1991 Faxon Institute Annual Conference, "Creating User Pathways to Electronic Information," to be held on April 28-30, 1991 in Reston, Virginia.
Sponsored by The Faxon Institute for Advanced Studies in Scholarly and Scientific Communications, the conference will focus on current research and practice in the rapidly changing realm of electronically published scientific, technical and medical (STM) information. In addition, the results of a new Faxon Institute national survey on the behavior and needs of users of information will be presented for the first time.
On April 1, 1991, registered participants can begin discussing the topics via an electronic conference. After a month of online discussion, the participants and presenters will meet in Reston, Virginia, on April 28-30, 1991, for more formal and informal interaction. Then, for one month after the live conference, participants can continue their discussions via the electronic conference. The Faxon Institute will provide participants with the necessary conferencing software. People unable to attend the live conference have the option of registering solely for the electronic conference.
The conference is structured into nine major program blocks composed of a mixture of papers and panels. Additionally, two sessions will be formatted as breakouts to provide an opportunity for more informal interaction with speakers/panelists in small groups. Keynote speaker, Michael Schrage, noted columnist and author of a new Random House book, Shared Minds: The New Technologies of Collaboration, will open the conference by discussing new electronic pathways that are being created for scholars and researchers. During the course of the next two days, special guest speakers will address the current state of electronic information access in the STM area, describe current experiments in scholarly electronic publishing, and provide in-depth, practical information on related computing and telecommunications issues.
Special guest speakers include: Lois Ann Colianinni, National Library of Medicine; T.R. Girill, National Energy Research Supercomputer Center, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory; Peter Lyman, Center for Scholarly Technology, University of Southern California; Charles Lowry, University of Texas at Arlington; Don Riggs, University of Michigan; Louise Levy Schaper, AT&T Bell Labs; Eric Bradshaw, Dow Jones Marketing; Stuart Lynn, Cornell University; Charles McClure, Syracuse University; Glen Alexander, Xerox Corporation; and Howard Webber, Digital Equipment Corporation.
Conference participation will be limited to 300 attendees drawn from the library, publishing, and information management community in higher education, the public sector and industry.
The full conference fee is $295.00 per person, if received by April 1, 1991. After April 1, 1991, the fee is $315.00 per person. The conference fee includes opening conference reception, two breakfasts, two lunches, morning and afternoon breaks, conference handouts, and the opportunity to participate in the electronic conference. Participation solely in the electronic conference portion is available at the full conference rate.
The conference will be held under the auspices of The Faxon Institute for Advanced Studies in Scholarly and Scientific Communication with support from the Coalition for Networked Information. For further information, contact Pauline McGee (x461) or Ellen Koup (x465) at 1 800 766-0039 or 617 329-3350. Facsimiles can be sent to 617 329-6434.
33.5 THE LAST WORD ON _INSECTES SOCIAUX_
Walter R. Tschinkel, Department of Biological Science B-157, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL 32306-3050; BIOLOGY@FSU.BITNET. Letter to Ann Okerson, Association of Research Libraries, and submitted by Okerson.
January 7, 1991
Dear Ms. Okerson,
Thanks for your follow-up on the adventures of the IUSSI and its child Insectes Sociaux. The story has now been brought to a more or less successful conclusion. As you may recall, it was the North American section of the society that started the effort to find a new publisher, and that solicited 4 bids from publishers in the USA. This action motivated the other sections to poll their own membership and to solicit bids as well. At the international congress of the IUSSI in Bangalore, India, at a meeting in which all sections were represented, it was decided to leave Masson (the present publisher) and to accept the proposal of Birkhauser in Basel, Switzerland. The Birkhauser proposal was in line with some of our American ones, but the price is somewhat higher than that proposed by at least two American publishers (both non-profits). Although the North American section caused the whole thing to happen, in the end, we were outvoted by the Europeans. Still, the outcome is good, even though the price hasn't changed much. The journal will be better, larger and better marketed. The publisher will also pay for a 1/2-time secretary for the editor.
I agree with you that price to individuals and to libraries is very important. Choosing the non-profit presses would have reduced both. Judging from the outcome in Bangalore, price must not have been the overriding concern upon which people voted. The society was founded in Europe, and Europeans are very intent on keeping the journal there. At least this has been my impression for some time....
33.6 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Daniel H. Jones, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio; JONES@UTHSCSA.BITNET.
I recently reported to the Newsletter on correspondence with Frank Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, regarding concerns for the erosion of library collections in research libraries in the US. Dr. Press responded that the Academy had established the Science & Technology Information Board to address information issues and that this would be addressed by the Board. After receiving his response I called Dr. Cynthia Carter, Director of the Board, to discuss their activities and to learn who was on the Board. The membership is very distinguished, but they apparently are not doing any studies because of lack of funds; I gather fundraising is what Dr. Carter is expected to do before they can conduct any studies. Anyway, I have subsequently learned from a distinguished member of the Academy that the Board has been "suspended" for lack of funds, and I wonder how much longer they will be able to retain anyone on staff under such circumstances. Further, I wonder if possibly some of the international publishers might have an interest in helping to fund objective studies about the erosion of the American academic and research library collections (I wonder a lot!).
33.7 UNSOLICITED JOURNAL ISSUES
Bobbie Carlson, Medical University of South Carolina Library, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston SC 29425; 803 792-2352; CARLSONB@MUSC.BITNET.
I have become aware of an increasing number of requests from subscription agents to return unsolicited journal issues (subscriptions, not standing orders). This situation has made me wonder about the policies and practices of libraries and vendors in this area. The problem appears to be with unsolicited issues that are received by libraries at the time of new orders and claims, which were placed correctly by the library. (Such issues in the context of a change of subscription agent are a different problem.) Libraries are oftentimes requested to return these materials to the vendor or the library will be invoiced.
There seems to be a vast difference in the way subscription agencies and libraries deal with these circumstances. Several vendors appear to request automatically that issues be returned, a policy that leaves libraries outside of the decision triangle. The majority of the librarians I've talked with about this matter think that the immediate burden in this scenario rests with their libraries in terms of demands on staff time and extra postal expenditures. Although librarians see the need to cooperate with vendors and publishers, they also feel, as informed consumers, that they should not suffer repeated losses due to miscommunication between publishers and vendors or due to faulty distribution practices. The reasons given to support returns, that subscriptions are very expensive and have short print runs, do not appear to consider the cost of serials to libraries beyond the invoiced price. The experience of some librarians has been that even when issues are returned, subscriptions may suffer additional delivery problems. Proactive librarians are not advocating that their institutions profit from others' errors, but they do demand some accountability in these times of austere budgets and rapidly rising subscription costs.
The following are some questions that have grown from the ongoing discussion of this problem among librarians: Does it matter whether an entire bibliographic volume or just a single issue is involved? What would the users of our collections and library administrators advise librarians to do in dealing with requests for returns? Are individual subscribers asked to return items? Are all libraries served by the same subscription agency asked to operate under the same policy? What does the vendor do with the returned issues?
Serials acquisitions is hardly an exact science, and allowances by librarians, vendors, and publishers must be built into the process. As more and more electronic links within the serials industry occur, will such problems become extinct? Will X12 transmission for invoices and claims among constituents help alleviate this problem? I would be interested in hearing from other serials librarians, library administrators, subscription agents, and publishers in order to define better the present situation and the future solution.
33.8 LIBRARIANS' EFFORTS COUNTERED BY OMB
Carol Henderson, Deputy Director, ALA Washington Office, ALA0025.
The Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1991 includes a disturbing paragraph in Part Two, p. 43, in a section headed "Expanding the Frontier of Knowledge Through Basic Research." This section describes "Key Indicators of the Vitality of Basic Research," and the paragraph in question reads as follows:
Publications and Citations.--As an indicator of overall productivity, the number of science articles published by U.S. academic researchers (which produce about two-thirds of all U.S. science and engineering articles in major journals) has increased markedly. By this measure, the U.S. is maintaining its large share of world scientific and engineering literature. In all fields, the U.S. has a greater percentage of world publications than does any other country. As an indicator of the impact that publications have on other research, citation data are often used. The level of citation of U.S. papers by foreign researchers suggests that U.S. researchers continue to exert a substantial impact on foreign publications, and thus on the world's store of scientific knowledge.While NSF appears to be making progress recently, the Office of Management and Budget, which prepares the budget document, is still citing the volume of science articles as an indicator, and thus contributing to the problem.
33.9 VIBRATIONAL SPECTROSCOPY (ISSN: 0924-2031),
Eleanor Cook, Appalachian State University, COOKEI@APPSTATE.BITNET.
James Kels, Chairman
Elsevier Science Publishing Co.
P.O. Box 211
Dear Mr. Kels:
I have spoken with a representative from your company, John Tagler, concerning a new Elsevier journal Vibrational Spectroscopy. He suggested that I write to you. I am concerned about the method employed to launch this new title.
A new title should be introduced to its market in a clear and open manner. This is particularly essential when that market is libraries. Numbering in a new title with an existing title wreaks havoc bibliographically, causing frustration and ill will with subscribers.
In the past, such practices did not cause quite the stir they do now because library subscribers could absorb the cost and in all likelihood were in a position to add new subscriptions. This is no longer the case. The mixing up of two distinct publications bibliographically serves no purpose but to confuse the situation and make access more difficult.
Librarians can no longer sigh and say, "Oh, well, go ahead and reorder," when the new title finally gets its own order number and price (as it invariably does). Our subscription to Analytica Chimica Acta (ISSN:0003-2670) now includes several inter-numbered issues of Vibrational Spectroscopy, which is a title we do not care to subscribe to. I feel that I have lost some of our money's worth from the original subscription since these "Siamese twins" will eventually have to undergo surgery.
If a new scholarly publication is launched, its marketing should be aimed clearly at appropriate academic institutions. A medium-sized comprehensive university with no doctoral programs in the sciences (such as Appalachian State University) does not need specialized high-tech science journals, nor can we afford them. We'd prefer to receive sample issues to share with appropriate faculty.
Librarians are paying attention to marketing techniques used by publishers. We are watching closely as our budgets cannot stand much more strain. The tendency is to cancel those publications which give us trouble. Tactics as have been used with the two titles I've described in this letter make these titles prime candidates for cancellation.
A copy of this letter will be sent to the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues to alert other librarians of this particular situation. The newsletter is in electronic format and reaches serials librarians all over the United States.
Eleanor I. Cook
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 for Library Collections and Technical Services. 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. The Newsletter is available on BITNET, DataLinx, and ALANET. EBSCONET customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format from EBSCO. Readmore Academic customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format from Readmore. Back issues of the Newsletter are available electronically free of charge through BITNET from the editor.