Deana L. Astle and Charles A. Hamaker are the recipients of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Serials Section Bowker/Ulrich's Serials Librarianship Award.
The award is for contributions to serials librarianship in areas of professional association, participation, library education, serials literature, research or development of tools leading to better understanding.
Astle, head of technical services at Clemson (SC) University, and Hamaker, assistant director for collection development, Louisiana State Unviersity, Baton Rouge, will receive $1,500 and a citation donated by the R.R. Bowker Company.
"Deana Astle and Charles Hamaker, working both together and separately, have gone far beyond the daily commitment to serials librarianship by raising the awareness of the entire library community of European serial publishers pricing practices," said Sue Anne Harrington, chair of the ALCTS Serials Section Bowker/Ulrich's Serials committee.
"Their efforts have led to international attention on the pricing policies of journals and publishers practices. In addition, they continue to encourage other efforts to research pricing and scholarly communication studies and let publishers know that the issue of unfair pricing will not disappear."
Astle has master's degrees from UCLA and the University of Utah. She received her bachelor's degree from Brown University. A member of the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues editorial board, Astle has held positions at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Utah.
Hamaker has a master's degree from Brigham Young University and a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University. He has held positions with Louisiana State University, University of Missouri-Saint Louis, Yale University and Brigham Young University.
Authors of three joint papers, Astle and Hamaker have written articles for numerous publications and have made several presentations.
The award will be presented July 1, 1991 at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Atlanta.
36.2 FROM THE EDITOR
Marcia Tuttle, TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET
Heartiest and most sincere congratulations to Deana Astle and Chuck Hamaker for being named Bowker/Ulrich's Award winners! In addition to their groundbreaking work on discriminatory pricing of journals, they are to be commended for their historical article, "Journal Publishing: Pricing and Structural Issues in the 1930s and the 1980s," in Advances in Serials Management 2 (1988). Closest to my heart, though, is the effort both of them give to this newsletter. Both were appointed to the PVLR Subcommittee on Serials Pricing Issues and both not only contribute to most newsletter issues but also serve as special advisors and soundingboards for the editor. Congratulations, and thank you!
After a two-year run, is has become apparent that the function of the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues is changing from disseminating the latest news first to recap and analysis in a slightly more permanent format than online bulletin boards and discussion groups. But that's ok, and that's just as exciting, because it is another chapter in the development of electronic communication. However, we will not become the Readers Digest of the electronic world. The Newsletter is not a bulletin board and it is not a refereed journal; it's somewhere in between and, according to your messages, doing its own thing very well. This does not mean that we cannot get quite a bit better; we'll keep trying and count on subscribers and other readers to continue to help. Thank you; you're every bit as terrific and essential as the Cameron Crazies at Duke.
A new book is out that will help librarians acquire serials and thus save us money. It is Buying Serials, by N. Bernard (Buzzy) Basch and Judy McQueen (New York: Neal-Schuman, 1990). Basch's experience as a subscription agent enables them to explain what the vendors do and how they make their money, how library customers can select agents and facilitate the business relationship, and how we can get the best value for our money. The years Basch served as President of Turner Subscription Agency make the book especially useful for public and smaller academic libraries and those having primarily domestic subscriptions. Highly recommended. Look for a detailed review later in Serials Review from both the librarian's and the vendor's perspective.
36.3 LOOKING AT THE WHOLE PICTURE
Norman Stevens, University of Connecticut, Storrs, HBLIBADM3@UCONNVM.BITNET
As academic libraries struggle unsuccessfully to make ends meet within acquisitions budgets by trimming subscription lists, it becomes increasingly important to pursue alternative sources of support. In meeting the graduate education and research needs of faculty and students, especially in the areas of graduate education and research, serials remain an essential component of institutional collections that need to be enhanced, not diminished. Within the university or college the library continues to serve as the central repository of printed information -- and, of course, now has a critical role to play in providing access to electronic information -- that is known and available to the entire academic community. That is not to discount the important role that other collections of printed materials, including journals, located throughout the institution play in providing ready access to information for current awareness, browsing, and direct support of specific research. But when the crisis, precipitated by stable or declining budgets and continued escalation in journal subscription costs, that faces so many academic libraries in meeting their primary role as information providers is a serious long-term problem, we need to persuade our institutions to look at the whole picture of how institutional resources are being expended in support of the information needs of the academic community.
Our institutions need, in particular, to review the extent to which scarce resources support the acquisition of "library" material, including journals, outside normal library channels. Departmental or individual book purchases, subscriptions, and collections may seem insignificant and necessary duplication, but that is no longer the case. Despite periodic institutional statements that such expenditures will be reduced, for example, the current budget crisis at the University of Connecticut has demonstrated the need for a serious review of that matter. Prompted, in part, by a purchasing memo indicating that such expenditures has increased substantially in the past year -- perhaps as faculty realized that the library was increasingly unable to meet their needs -- and outlining simpler ways to make such purchases, we first sought information about the level of these expenditures. The Budget Department provided information on expenditures from all University funds for books and subscriptions exclusive of those made by the Library. From 1985/1986 through 1989/1990 those expenditures rose from $319,017 to $628,761. They represent almost 17 percent of a Library acquisitions budget of approximately $3,700,000 in 1989/1990.
The Library is now in the process of cancelling approximately $250,000 in journal subscriptions. Staff have been meeting with faculty in a variety of departments and have discovered further relevant information. One departmental library, for example, now has nearly 100 journals for which about $8,500 is being spent on current subscriptions. Some of those titles duplicate titles held by the Library but many represent unique titles. The Library ought not to be cancelling titles that will continue to be held in departmental collections. If one subscription is all that the University can afford, it ought to be a subscription that the entire academic community knows exists and has access to. With severe limitations on our ability to place new journal subscriptions, better information needs to be provided to the entire community about unique titles that exist outside the Library.
University administrations need to review all expenditures for "library" materials as a whole and make appropriate choices regarding the allocation of funds for the expenditure of "library" materials among the library, departmental collections, and even individual subscriptions. In a few institutions the library may be designated as the purchasing agent of record for all "library" materials providing it not with the authority to disapprove purchases but, at least, to list in its records the location of expensive and/or unique material in order to limit duplication and increase accessibility. Finally, it is increasingly possible to expand online public access catalogs to become true institutional catalogs of record by providing the means for, and requiring, the incorporation of information about "library" materials held outside the library in those catalogs.
Institutional and library acquisitions budgets are likely to continue to be constrained for a number of years. The information needs of an institution's faculty and students, especially as represented in journal subscriptions that represent an expensive long-term commitment, can best be served by a careful institutional examination of the whole picture.
36.4 KINKO'S BACK IN THE NEWS?
Kate McCain, Drexel University, MCCAINKW@DUVM.BITNET.
There is interesting action on the photocopy/copyright front. I got a phone call from our local Kinko's on SATURDAY at HOME. I have used them for a collection of introductory readings for some years now. They have apparently lost a lawsuit (AAP?) and are now having to reexamine ALL materials in these readings books and be SURE that they have explicit copyright permission from all publishers. This is certain to have major implications for students, faculty, and photocopy centers nationwide
-- if we (faculty) have to plan six months ahead what we want to have in an "up to date" readings collection;
-- if costs of copyright compliance are passed along to students (without faculty being apprised in a timely fashion of these costs);
-- if we resort to (old-fashioned) reliance on reserve rooms in overstressed, understaffed, underfunded libraries;
-- if students start "borrowing with a razor blade" because photocopying is too much trouble;
and then what about all this "cutting" of serials budgets (and reliance on interlibrary loan) and how will that affect our ability to capture and teach "what's happening now?"
In our university, we are being encouraged to include all handouts, transparency masters, etc. in the readings (and thus passing ever increasing photocopy costs to students). The students like it. But what problems does this raise for companies like Kinko's -- dealing with items whose provenance is obscure or mixed?
I haven't seen anything about this in the NYT yet; it will probably be in the Chronicle. Just another burden for serials public services and reading rooms to deal with.
36.5 MORE PUBLISHER HI-JINKS
Eleanor Cook, Appalachian State University, COOKEI@APPSTATE.BITNET.
Blackwell Scientific publishes Journal of Biogeography (ISSN: 0305-0270). We are now also receiving a new title called Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters (ISSN: 0960-7447). The subscription information states "Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters is a sister publication of the Journal. The journals will be published together on a bimonthly basis."
At ASU, we are paying $306.66 per year for this. Pricing information given in the journal itself says that the full institutional price is US$ 375. They claim you can get a 75 percent discount if you are a member of the Institute of British Geographers or the British Ecological Society, bringing the price down to US$ 93.75. Does this apply to institutions also? I am going to write them and ask, since we do subscribe to the Institute of British Geographers' Transactions.
This is another example of getting more than you bargained for. Confusing pricing structures and inclusionary marketing is a waste of time, in my opinion.
Here's another one. Pergamon is sending a new "freebie" with the tetrahedron gang. Last year we started receiving Tetrahedron: Assymmetry (ISSN: 0957-4166) as part of our subscription to Tetrahedron (ISSN: 0040-4020). This year we're getting Bioorganic & Medical Chemistry Letters (ISSN: 0960-894X) as part of our subscription to Tetrahedron Letters (ISSN: 0040-4020).
I suppose the publishers think they are doing us a favor. After all, the combined price for the two original titles is over $10,000.00! So we should be glad to get even more for our money, right? The problem is, I do not expect these things will continue indefinitely to be "free." And for both subscriptions, we have been charged increases from $600+ to over $1,000 last year. So, I do not consider any of this free!
The other problem with this is that when we accept these additional separate publications with our existing subscription, if faculty get used to having them, then when the subscription splits, they'll want us to keep getting the new titles.
36.6 FROM THE MAILBOX
From Fran Waranius, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, FRAN%LPI.
From Norman Stevens, University of Connecticut, HBLADM3@UCONNVM.
From Michael Sullivan, UCLA, ECZ5PTL@UCLAVMS.BITNET:
It now appears that I will need to cancel as much as $350,000
rather than the $200,000 I was hoping for when I responded to the
From Fred Friend, Librarian, University College, London, UCYL@UCL.
From Linda Gould, University of Washington, Seattle, ljgould@milton.
At UW, we are working on a "contingency" cancellation project
with a target of 10 percent of our serial renewal budget and a
backup list of an additional 5 percent. In $, this is either
$333K or $500K approx. As a continuing process, over the next 2
months, we will be trying to determine what the actual cut will
have to be ... in the absence of firm information on our budget
for the next biennium. We are looking at our primary vendor
bills, estimating how much of an overrun we'll have in serials,
trying to estimate where we'll be with inflation on books, etc.
Then we'll come up with a best guestimate (if we don't have the
budget, which we probably won't), and establish the final target.
I know this may be insignificant in these days of high priced
serials, but we just received a letter from the European Association of Science Editors giving us a $10.00 credit indicating that
the EASE Bulletin was inadvertently billed at $50.00 instead of
$40.00. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get such communications
from some of the other publishers!
The information about the amount of dollars being cut in serials
budgets was intriguing since we all seem to be, so to speak, in
the same ball park. UConn is in the process of cutting at about
I apologize for an erroneous statement I made in a message on
SERIALST, which made its way into your Newsletter. I said that my
department's materials budget of $1.3 million represents 35 - 40
percent of the total UCLA materials budget, and that this excludes biomedical materials. Actually, the $1.3 million represents 18 - 20 percent of UCLA's book budget; when Biomedical
materials are added, the percentage comes to about 35 - 40 percent (my department covers physical sciences and engineering).
As one of a number of UK recipients of the Newsletter I have seen
four issues so far and have found something of value in each
issue. For example, our periodical agent had not heard of the
change in publisher of Insectes Sociaux, and I had not heard of
the forthcoming Faxon Institute Conference (in which I shall now
be participating). In the UK we have been following and supporting ARL's initiatives in relation to the pricing of journals, and
I will gladly publicise via the Newsletter any exorbitant price
increases I hear about. SCONUL (the British equivalent of ARL)
has a working party looking at the problem. Most of us applaud
the excellent US-UK co-operation during the Gulf War and want the
co-operation to be as effective on library issues.
One question I'd like some responses to, after seeing various
other libraries' projected dollar targets of serials to cut, is:
how are these targets determined, i.e., what elements are considered when a dollar target is set, and who is involved in the
decision-making process to set it? It would be useful to know
what those dollar amounts constitute in terms of a percentage of
the library's serials budget, and, perhaps, its total resources
budget. Beyond that, it gets very sticky to ask because everyone
does everything so differently!
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. EBSCO and Readmore Academic customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format from EBSCO and Readmore, respectively. Back issues of the Newsletter are available electronically free of charge through BITNET from the editor.
From Fran Waranius, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, FRAN%LPI. SPAN@STAR.STANFORD.EDU.
From Norman Stevens, University of Connecticut, HBLADM3@UCONNVM. BITNET:
From Michael Sullivan, UCLA, ECZ5PTL@UCLAVMS.BITNET:
It now appears that I will need to cancel as much as $350,000 rather than the $200,000 I was hoping for when I responded to the SERIALST query.
From Fred Friend, Librarian, University College, London, UCYL@UCL. AC.UK:
From Linda Gould, University of Washington, Seattle, ljgould@milton. u.washington.edu:
At UW, we are working on a "contingency" cancellation project with a target of 10 percent of our serial renewal budget and a backup list of an additional 5 percent. In $, this is either $333K or $500K approx. As a continuing process, over the next 2 months, we will be trying to determine what the actual cut will have to be ... in the absence of firm information on our budget for the next biennium. We are looking at our primary vendor bills, estimating how much of an overrun we'll have in serials, trying to estimate where we'll be with inflation on books, etc. Then we'll come up with a best guestimate (if we don't have the budget, which we probably won't), and establish the final target.