52.2 SHAPING OUR FUTURE , Bill Robnett
52.3 FROM THE MAILBOX
Marcia Tuttle, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased to send to you Bill Robnett's report on the recent Society for Scholarly Publishing seminar, Shaping our Future. The sixty participants were about evenly divided among publishers, librarians, and support services (subscription agents, binders, etc.). We had been advised to come prepared to work together, rather than for our own aspect of the scholarly communication process, and I believe everyone agreed that we did this just about as well as it could be done. While the individual talks were well done and were necessary to set the stage for what followed, it was the hours spent in small group discussion that made the meeting special. I add my thanks to Bill's to Chuck Hamaker and Janet Fisher for the work they did. (Bill Robnett will have a longer resport on the seminar in a future issue of _Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory_.)
Yesterday I received the announcement of this year's SSP Top Mangement Roundtable, to be held on November 12-13, in Baltimore. It promises to be an excellent meeting, as well. The topic is "Strategic Risk-Taking: Electronic Innovation in Scholarly Publishing." Chet Grycz, University of California, and Karen Hunter, Elsevier Science Publishers, are seminar cochairs. For more information, contact Society for Scholarly Publishing, 10200 West 44th Avenue, #304, Wheat Ridge CO 80033; phone: 303 422-3914; FAX: 303 422-8894.
The next newsletter will have further responses to the TRLN model copyright statement, which was distributed as newsletter #46.
52.2 SHAPING OUR FUTURE, SOCIETY FOR SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING SEMINAR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, SEPTEMBER 16-17, 1992
Bill Robnett, Vanderbilt University, ROBNETTB@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu.
Janet Fisher of MIT Press and Chuck Hamaker of LSU, co-chairs, welcomed the librarians, publishers, and vendors to the Boston conference. Barbara Meyers, Meyers Consulting Services, set the stage for the seminar by describing the challenges to scholarly publishing, particularly but not exclusively those resulting from technological innovations applied to communication, publishing, and access. She described the oft-termed crisis as resulting from reductions in library budgets that heretofore had been able to purchase a product from a big business that received capital infusions from the banking industry while the market was undergoing expansion. Meyers still questions the assumption that the new will supplant the old in the scholarly communication model.
Mary Curtis of Transaction Publishers, Susan Knapp of the American Psychological Association, and John and Glen Secor of Yankee Book Peddler, Inc. addressed Budgets and Pricing. Curtis described the reality of publishing as she sees it: it is a business and has business obligations and the need for reinvesting in its infrastructure and personnel. The industry exists in a highly competitive market in which new technologies are supported by traditional products, often the paper journal. Fees are a reality for end users, and librarians should give up socialist leanings, e.g., the Aqueduct Agenda. After painting a future scenario of government regulation of electronic networks that carry scholarly information, Curtis reminded the participants that a major strength of the current system is that no group has complete control.
Freedom of information does not imply free of cost, according to Susan Knapp, and publishers are concerned about subscription losses and photocopying. Her analysis of subscription bases for six APA journals since 1970 reveals that all groups of subscribers are shrinking, although membership has grown significantly. Scholars read differently than they did 20 years ago, and demand is for more specialized titles. Personal libraries and comprehensive research collections are being replaced by enhanced access to external sources. The individual article is now the unit of transaction, and the end-user drives the system. Librarians must recognize the concerns of publishers in terms of maintaining revenues. Knapp does see a sound future for scholarly publishing.
The Secors emphasized partnering, implying openness, candor, and sharing, for success and for survival in the 1990s. Organizations such as the Society for Scholarly Publishing are a forum for discussion and evaluation of ideas to be shared. The vendors' role has changed significantly so that they now must provide a broad spectrum of services to clients, e.g., client access to on-line vendor files and inventories, management reports, and electronic tables of contents and full text. The investments are significant.
Michael Keller of Yale University Libraries and Tina Feick of Blackwell's (UK) addressed Ownership versus Access. Keller described Yale's long-range plan for library collections and its impact on operations budgets. Active research support and continuing collection strengths are identified priorities at Yale. Despite the size of its budget, Yale is able to acquire only 5% of the world's annual publishing output, but little attention is still given to cooperative collection development. For the access model to be effective, physical access to information must be rapid and cheap. Emphasis on access will result in more specialized local collections; selectivity requires that libraries use book and subscription agents, particularly country-of-origin agents.
Vendors are responding to concerns of librarians, according to Tina Feick. Her time-line chart of the publisher/agent/librarian transaction and payment cycle highlighted the very short decision window for evaluating journal subscriptions with accurate pricing information in hand. Because librarians have asked for the data, Readmore and Blackwell invoices now indicate updated price information. EDI developments, SISAC-generated standards, and document delivery are other examples of cooperation.
Document delivery and copyright were the foci of Patricia Berger, past President, American Library Association, Christine Lamb of Faxon Research Service (FRS), and Ron Rivest of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science. Berger described copyright as a contract between the public and authors, although publishers now hold most copyrights. Such legal "fallacy" makes all the more difficult the defining of authorship and copyright coverage. Fair use still has no standard definition to cover all circumstances. The 1976 copyright law redefined copyright to begin when the author creates the work. Before 1976 that point was at the time of publication. The Texaco copyright infringement decision has made it essential to examine ILL codes in detail.
Christine Lamb described the factors encouraging newer and faster document delivery: economic pressures, more sophisticated users, faxes and PCs, cheaper telecommunications, etc. FaxonExpress and FaxonFinder are to serve a market that still has not assumed its final form, but the viability of these services is assumed because several major factors in scholarly communication are converging: copyright protection and compliance, simplification of ILL processing, new revenue streams for publishers, opening of distribution channels to individuals, and control of article prices.
Ron Rivest described scholarly communication as possibly returning to the grassroots, where communities will develop their own alternative communication mechanisms in the electronic environment. In his community, conferences and electronic mail notices are the sources of research information. Journals are archival and do concentrate high quality articles, and scholars should be encouraged to submit their work to the peer review process.
Following these presentations the seminar participants and speakers divided into small "working groups." Some of the issues and concerns identified in the group discussions were:
- Peer review is a major function of the publishers, although the electronic environment may alter this process
- Free electronic journals are desired, but some party must fund and support the peer review process
- Corresponding about scientific information at the grassroots level parallels early scientific communication that led to the development of the journal
- Some authors' rights are not supported under the current copyright law
- There is less faith in the new technologies than in print, for archival purposes
- Vendors should develop another agenda to speak to libraries about standards of behavior, to elicit healthy discussion
- Facts should be discerned from theory concerning what libraries believe that vendors do, e.g., the assumption that vendors no longer honor first claims
- There is a need for a common contract language
- Libraries need the appropriate administrative structure to promote and support archiving
- Many scholars are indifferent to the issues that concern us
- The current system of copyright is flawed but still the best
- Publishers should license their products in a responsible way, particu- larly for classrooms
- Standards for archiving and licensing should be developed
- Cooperative development ventures, such as that of the University of Chicago Press, NASA, and the American Astronomical Society to load five years of the _Astronomical Journal_ on NASA computers, should be encouraged and also should involve the users
- Document retrieval issues may be the initiative that pushes us up to the next level of technical capabilities
- Library funding is probably at its maximum in terms of alternate sources and resourcefulness
- The not-for-profit publishers are willing to work with libraries to ensure archiving
- Commercial publishers require leadership from the library community about electronic archiving.
Throughout the seminar there was little single-sector advocacy because the participants recognize the common issues critical to the scholarly communication process. Creation of a task force to develop a second action agenda modelled on the Aqueduct Agenda was made possible by this commonality.
52.3 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: email@example.com.
From: Janet Fisher, MIT Press, FISHER@mitvma.mit.edu:
Attention, Serials Librarians:
The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) will be mailing you a directory of university press journals in mid-October. It is indexed by subject, title, and press, and gives all the necessary ordering information. Over 300 journals are included from AAUP members.
We hope you find it useful and would appreciate any comments you have on how it might be improved next year. AAUP intends to issue this directory annually. Please send your comments and suggestions to me at the address above. Thanks for your help.
>From Barry Anderson, Royal Society of Chemistry, RSC03@GEC-B.RUTHERFORD. AC.UK:
I have read issue 47 - September 13th, which includes an item on journal prices. I hope that your readers do not assume from the list of prices charged by selected European publishers for their serials for 1993 that this is typical. The Royal Society of Chemistry has managed to limit its dollar price increase next year to approximately 12%. There had been a significant decline in the value of the dollar against sterling during the twelve months prior to the date on which we set prices for 1993. In addition production costs have risen as we continue to publish an increasing number of high quality papers which for some journal titles has resulted in an increase in the number of issues published.
Scholarly societies rely on the surplus generated from the sale of journals to fund activities which promote chemistry and other sciences. Subscription rates are carefully set to cover costs and provide the necessary surplus; societies are not profit making organisations.
The American market is very important to us and we fully appreciate the financial difficulties that so many US libraries are facing.
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 by the editor through the Office of Information Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as news is available. Editor: Marcia Tuttle, Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org; Paper mail: Serials Department, CB #3938 Davis Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC 27599-3938; Telephone: 919 962-1067; FAX: 919 962-0484. Editorial Board: Deana Astle (Clemson University), Jerry Curtis (Springer Verlag New York), Janet Fisher (MIT Press), Charles Hamaker (Louisiana State University), James Mouw (University of Chicago), and Heather Steele (Blackwell's Periodicals Division). The Newsletter is available on the Internet and Blackwell's CONNECT. EBSCO and Readmore Academic customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format from these companies. Back issues of the Newsletter are available electronically free of charge through electronic mail from the editor. To subscribe to the newsletter, send a message to LISTSERV@GIBBS.OIT.UNC.EDU saying SUBSCRIBE PRICES-L [YOUR NAME]. Be sure to send that message to the listserver and not to Prices-l. You must include your name. To unsubscribe (no name required in message), you must send the message from the e-mail address by which you are subscribed. If you have problems, please contact the editor.