56.2 RESPONSE TO COPYRIGHT DOCUMENT PUBLISHER RESPONSES, Elliott Lieb
56.3 BLACKWELL SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS 1993 PRICES, Robert Campbell
56.4 FROM THE MAILBOX
56.5 HAMAKER'S HAYMAKERS, Chuck Hamaker
Dr. H.U. Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Springer-Verlag New York, FAX: 212 473-6272.
We at Springer-Verlag wish to clarify a few points made in the _Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues_ #54, October 17, 1992.
Regarding the prices of Springer-Verlag journals, we need to emphasize that we have been using a "world price" concept for several years now at the request of librarians and subscription agents, i.e., the price is set in the country of origin for the worldwide market and in domestic currency. For the local markets, the exchange rate is applied to this world price. In other words, and thus contrary to Mr. Hamaker's impression, the US price of an imported journal is completely independent from where the distribution rights lie.
Therefore, we can assure our clients that Springer-Verlag New York does not place its North American customers at a pricing disadvantage. We would like to point out that our fixed exchange rates of 1.79 DM per dollar for 1992 journal prices and 1.50 DM for 1993 were set with the best interest of our North American customers in mind. Please be assured that we are well aware of the budgetary problems our customers are incurring.
Concerning the fulfillment of our journals, we have absolutely no plans to dismantle our order entry, customer service, or financial administration. All the major operations within our journal fulfillment will be handled by Springer-Verlag New York employees, with one exception: the actual mailing of journal issues will be handled by Mercedes Distribution in Brooklyn NY in the future. It is important to note that the change in territorial distribution rights was done in a way that no vendor had to realign the actual physical handling or shipping of journal issues. Our subscribers will continue to receive journals, have claims processed, and missing issues handled in the same timely manner and at the same level of service as in the past.
56.2 RESPONSE TO COPYRIGHT DOCUMENT PUBLISHER RESPONSES
Elliott Lieb, Professor of Mathematics and Physics, Princeton University, lieb@math.Princeton.EDU.
It was with considerable interest that I read the responses to the copyright document from people heavily connected with the publishing business. In essence, they seem to be saying that copyright is essential for the financial solvency of their companies. It sounds a bit like Judge Leval's dictum in the famous Texaco case that "the profit motive is the engine that ensures the progress of science."
While I can understand the points of view expressed, I don't believe in the conclusion, at least as far as publishing in mathematics and physics goes. As far as I can see, publishers can get along quite well (and are getting along quite well) without the extra few dollars they try to squeeze out at the photocopy machine. I also don't believe that copy editors play a crucial role, as alleged, in improving math and physics journal articles; the contrary is usually the case. I base this on several decades of my own observations.
Anyway, here are a few interesting facts.
1. Elsevier, which is one of the biggest players and is hardly known for softheadedness, does not require copyright for journal articles. Its copyright transfer form gives authors an explicit choice in this regard. You have to check one box or the other.
2. Although its form is not quite as explicit, Kluwer also does not demand copyright.
3. Last month the Council of the American Mathematical Society passed a resolution stating that authors can keep copyright if they wish (for journals AND books) for AMS publications. However, authors must agree to allow unlimited dissemination by the AMS. Here is the resolution:
Furthermore it should be the policy of AMS to allow authors to retain copyright (if they wish) in their work and in the image of their work, provided they assign to AMS the right to publish and the right to permit others (with or without payment of fees to AMS) to republish or translate the work.
4. As far as books go, the fact that copyright is not needed even there is seen in two recent popular scientific publications. One is Dyson's book "From Eros to Gaia" (Pantheon?) and the other is Djerassi's autobiograpphy (Basic Books). These are likely to be hot sellers. In both cases the authors have the copyright, and in both cases the publishers are quite solvent.
My own view is that the AMS position is the best -- at least for journal articles. Authors should be allowed to retain copyright. This will help keep publishers within bounds. But it should also be recognized that one of the social (as distinct from money making) functions of publishing is to disseminate scientific information as widely as possible. Normally this coincides with the interest of most authors. (Even Judge Leval recognized this.) In other words, the quid pro quo for publication in a journal should be the author's willingness to put the material in the public domain, at least as far as the publisher is concerned. This simple expedient is not only morally correct but it also eliminates the objections based on the inconvenience of having to track down authors for permission to republish or to translate.
56.3 BLACKWELL SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS 1993 PRICES
Letter to US librarians from Robert Campbell, Managing Director, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Ltd, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL England.
10th September 1992
...Our 1992 US dollar prices were on average only 4.5% higher than in 1991 where the page extent was not increased. As you know, however, the situation in 1993 will be very different. Whilst the basic European prices of our journals are increasing by an average of 6.1% where page extents remain constant, the current weakness of the dollar is driving up the dollar price of journals from Europe.
We have discussed this problem with the learned societies (over 100) for whom we publish. Together, we are doing everything we can to cut costs wherever possible; these savings are being passed on. The policy we have agreed upon is outlined below.
1. Obtain the best exchange rate possible with our banks; we have taken a slight currency loss to establish a rate of $1.85 to L1.00. This compares with a rate of $1.98 to L1.00 as I write. We have further reduced this rate by 9 cents to convert our overseas prices (where these are higher than our European prices) at $1.76 to L1.00 to establish a fixed dollar price for 1993.
2. Use the steadily increasing bulk of our journal deliveries to North America to negotiate the lowest available freight rates and continue to use a combination of air freight to New York and second class mail within the US. This service has proved to be swift, reliable and cost-effective (if your experience of our service has been different, please let us know).
3. Hold editors to 1992 page budgets where possible to avoid charging subscribers more for more pages. Rejection rates have been increased as we concentrate on quality.
4. Speed up the implementation of the latest technology to automate the editorial and typesetting processes and subscription handling, in order to keep our costs down.
5. Develop non-subscription sales (such as sponsored supplements, offprints, and bulk deals to industry), sales to individuals and revenue from document delivery (for example, through the ADONIS project) to reduce the financial burden on institutional subscribers.
6. Drop some titles and look very critically at plans to add to the list. We are launching a title only when we are convinced by extensive market research that a new journal is required by an emerging discipline and its research community ....
7. Look into manufacturing more of our journals in the United States.
We value our partnership with you in maintaining and improving the flow of scholarly and research information. If you have any suggestions on what else we might do to help you maintain your holdings, please let us know. If the dollar strengthens next year you will, of course, get the full benefit, as in 1991, when we fix 1994 prices.
56.4 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
>From Sami Klein, National Institute of Standards and Technology, KLEIN@ENH.NIST.GOV:
Don Lanier, UIC Rockford, IL posted the following to the copyright list and I thought it might be of interest. I checked with Don and he had no problem with my posting the letter.
A letter dated Oct. 9 and addressed to me personally arrived today from the Association of American Publishers. It is discomforting for two reasons:
1) The AAP says, "As you know, your use of photocopies of copyrighted material to fill requests for journal articles and other serials (and for portions of books) requires permission of the copyright holder and payment of royalty where requested."
2) Elsewhere the AAP says, "Since you deal in high volume document delivery of copies, we wanted to assure your awareness of the foregoing." (That is, their interpretation of copyright requirements.) ALSO "To that end, please complete the form below to let us know the percentage of your document supply that you receive from overseas sources and which sources are most often used."
I think AAP is not at all forthcoming about copyright law provisions for Fair Use to support education and research. And it seems inappropriate to tell AAP about our overseas sources, notwithstanding their promise to keep the results of this survey confidential "except in the aggregate form."
Don Lanier, UIC Rockford, IL 61107 U17113@UICVM
>From Alexander Gilchrist, University of South Carolina, SANDY@TCL.SCAROLINA.EDU:
The University of South Carolina, Columbia, has just completed a serials cancellation project for 1993 subscriptions amounting to some $275,000. As someone in one of the earlier issues of the Newsletter (I wish I could remember who and which issue) clearly and concisely put it, it does not matter why the costs are high and climbing, or how much a commercial publisher should be able to make per subscription, or what their production costs are and why, or whether the frequency and/or number of pages has increased. The simple fact is that libraries can no longer find the money to maintain the subscriptions and therefore must agonize through repeated cancellation projects. I suspect also that the recent round of outrageous increases is the result of publishers trying to regain lost revenues from the numerous cancellation projects that libraries have been forced into during the last 2 or 3 years.
56.5 HAMAKER'S HAYMAKERS
Chuck Hamaker, Louisiana State University, NOTCAH@LSUVM.BITNET.
It is not only librarians who are concerned about the new "terms" under which Springer Verlag is preparing to operate. Not only have there been phone calls and letters and visits protesting the "new regime" that forces all vendors to place orders for journals and handbooks destined for the North American market through the New York office of Springer Verlag, but the German booktrade is extremely concerned about the announcment of the "new" discount of 5% for books.
In a strongly worded ad placed in the Sept. 25 issue of _Borsenblatt_, members of the Committee of the Retail Book Trade (SOA), the Board of Scholarly Bookdealers, and the Association of Mail Order Bookdealers, as well as librarians, protested the "dictatorial conditions" of the new trade terms established by Springer Verlag.
These members of the German book trade state that they deeply resent the new discount level, and that it "does not leave any leeway to operate a scholarly bookshop."
As well as threatening American libraries with a so called "level playing field" which is, as I indicated in my last piece, a minefield for American libraries, Springer is also threatening to destroy a major piece of the German scholarly marketplace. Will German bookstores have to "buy" German books from the American distribution system in order to get a decent discount? That is about as level as the new distribution rules for subscriptions. The ad in the _Borsenblatt_ suggests the "5%" decision is a direct blow at free trade and competition and will be "checked out legally." It seems Springer believes only in monopoly distribution and disastrous selling policies.
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