62.2 COPING WITH DUAL VERSIONS OF _CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY_, Christie Degener
62.3 VENDOR POLICY ON EXCHANGE RATES EXPLAINED, Joel Baron
62.4 UNANTICIPATED EFFECTS OF COPYRIGHT RETENTION, Michael Friedman
62.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
Marcia Tuttle, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past few months several letters about the journal _Cellular and Molecular Biology_ have been circulated among serials librarians. I have not mentioned the situation in the newsletter, but now it has unquestionably become a pricing issue. For many years Professor Raymond Wegmann in France has edited _Cellular and Molecular Biology_, which has been published by Pergamon. The editor and the publisher have come to an unfriendly parting of the ways -- in the middle of a volume -- and each is continuing that volume and intends to carry on the journal. Subscribers, therefore, are receiving competing issues and must decide which to subscribe to for 1993. Word from Faxon and Blackwell is that these vendors are delaying renewal of this title pending word from the subscriber. The following article explains the dilemma in which librarians find themselves.
62.2 COPING WITH DUAL VERSIONS OF _CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY_: ONE LIBRARY'S APPROACH.
Christie Degener, Serials Librarian, Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, email@example.com.
Our library received Professor Wegmann's _Cellular and Molecular Biology_ v.38, nos.5/6 (Aug/Sept 1992) on Nov. 16, 1992; the receipt of Pergamon's _Cellular and Molecular Biology_ v.38, no.5 (Aug 1992) a week later prompted some quick thinking about how this situation should be handled. The outer appearance of the two issues is extremely similar; the insides are dissimilar in more than content. Some comparison data:
OUTER APPEARANCE: Color, size, front cover layout, and spine information are identical. The ISSN, coden, and "indexed/abstracted in:" information are identical. The Wegmann issue has dropped the Pergamon imprint statement from the front cover and replaced the back cover Pergamon imprint with new imprint data (Imprimerie R. DUVAL). The Pergamon issue front cover now lists two "associate editors" (M.A.Q. Siddiqui, T. Nagata) instead of listing an "editor" (R. Wegmann).
INSIDE: P. i of the Wegmann issue lists an editor-in-chief (R.J. Wegmann), an associate editor, U.S.A. and Canada (R.F. Ochillo), and an associate editor, Asia (T. Nagata). The double issue contains 25 articles (with abstracts in English) by authors from institutions in 12 different countries, including 6 articles by authors from US institutions. The one article in French has summaries in French and English. The article texts are all in the same typeface and are single-spaced. The issue's paging goes from p. 477-699.
P. [i] of the Pergamon issue lists an associate editor, U.S.A. and Canada (M.A.Q. Siddiqui) and an associate editor, Asia (T. Nagata). (Note: this is the same person mentioned in the Wegmann issue; there is also considerable overlap between the editorial board members listed in the two versions.) This issue contains 5 articles (with abstracts in English), all by authors from US institutions. The article texts are in various type fonts and are entirely or partially doublespaced. The issue's paging goes from p.477-542.
Based on the one example of each version received to date, we cannot guess if both or only one version will be indexed, and if only one, which one. For the time being, we have decided to check in and provide both to our users. (We are considering whether we need separate check-in records in order to claim effectively, should that be necessary.) To distinguish the two versions, the issues are labeled in the upper left hand corner as "Wegmann version" or "Pergamon version." We are also posting a sign at the shelving location to alert users to the existence of two versions of this title. Our bindery assistant has been asked to delay binding the second half of 1992 until further notice, the circulation staff have been instructed to shelve both versions together, and we plan to do a "show and tell" presentation about this title at our next library-wide staff meeting. Finally, we have asked our vendor to delay renewal of this title for 1993 until the smoke clears.
62.3 VENDOR POLICY ON EXCHANGE RATES EXPLAINED
Joel Baron, Publisher Services, Faxon Company, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am writing, in part as comment on Jim Thompson's recent letter on pricing, and partially in response to a number of queries we have had from other Faxon clients. The topic is "the current weakness of the dollar and its relation to 1993 subscription rates for journals published in Europe." Mr Thompson states that he is "eagerly awaiting a slew of letters and articles from these same publishers, announcing new reduced prices for 1993 journal subscriptions."
Here's the good news: what he is eagerly awaiting is, indeed, happening, but it's happened so recently that no one's alerted him. Also, he won't be hearing it from publishers, but from his agent. This requires some detailed explanation.
There are three basic pricing schemes followed in the US by non-US publishers: 1) set prices in dollars; 2) set prices in domestic currency (that is, domestic for the publisher) and require payment in that currency, with no consideration of the exchange rate; and 3) set prices in domestic currency, but fix the conversion rate for specified periods of time. Fewer and fewer publishers follow the first example. The latter two are the most common today.
Many publishers set prices only in their currency; they leave it up to agents or other direct purchasers to deal with exchange rates (Example 2). But your agent's policies in relation to these publishers is important. Faxon, for example, invoices clients at whatever the prevailing exchange rate is on the date the client's invoice is cut. A client invoiced in September, for example, would have had pound sterling prices converted at $2.00 to the pound (a 200 pound sterling journal would cost $400.00); but any orders sent to these publishers last week, would be paid at a $1.60 rate ($320.00) for the same journal. The difference of $80.00 will be credited to the client.
Not all agents follow this practice, and each library needs to understand its agent's policies. Some fix the rates when they bill the client, some fix it when they make the purchase. Libraries whose agents follow the latter policy will see gains this year, but they would have seen slightly higher adjustments the year before; and, of course, vice versa. In short, neither agent's policy is right or wrong because there is no predicting currency fluctuation. The dollar did well during the Gulf War, but then became moribund in the months after the war ended; no particular reason for this, just the perceptions of the buyers and sellers. What is important for a library to know, again, is what its agent's policy is for this type of publisher -- and that the agent's policy remain stable from year to year.
With respect to Example 3, the publisher establishes a dollar conversion rate relative to firm prices set in the domestic currency of publication. This process takes place during the late spring/early summer, and provides a consistent dollar price to be used in invoicing throughout the fall renewal season, and sometimes beyond.
Depending upon the publisher, Faxon's (and I believe other large agents') involvement in setting a conversion rate varies. In establishing the rate, the publishers and agents work closely with financial planners and forecasters to provide our clients with the best possible rate to use for subscription renewals.
In general, libraries have benefited from the fixed-rate policy, as the dollar has had a recent tendency -- although not true this year -- to weaken toward the end of the year. There is no simple cause for this. In short, although not true this year, over time prices would have been higher for these titles if their publishers had not fixed conversion rates when they did.
Faxon, the only agent whose policies I know, takes a conservative position and covers our foreign currency requirements as soon as these publishers announce fixed conversion rates. This protects both Faxon and its clients from financial risk.
I know this is a complex set of issues, but because of the large amounts of money involved it is worth understanding. I would be happy to respond to any questions to the NEWSLETTER in the future.
62.4 UNANTICIPATED EFFECTS OF COPYRIGHT RETENTION
Michael Friedman, Oracle Corporation, email@example.com.
Anyone who has been following the scholarly journals industry recently is aware of the movement by librarians to persuade authors to retain copyrights. It is beginning to have effects. I strongly suspect that those effects are not the ones which librarians anticipated or desired.
I work for Oracle Corporation's electronic publishing subsidiary. I have been talking to publishers about purchasing nonexclusive electronic rights to their journals. They're happy to talk, but one problem that we are going to have to live with is that some authors have retained copyrights. This means that the publishers cannot license their work to us. In turn, this means that libraries that want to buy information in electronic form will not be able to get complete collections. In the long run this is going to hurt everyone.
As I understand it, the motivation for retaining rights is to have the ability to distribute the information cheaply or even for free. Couldn't this objective be met by retaining copyright but giving publishers the nonexclusive right to sell licenses to the information? That way authors will still be able to make information freely available, but people who want to buy information in bulk will not need to track down thousands of individual copyright holders.
62.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: Peter Graham, Rutgers University, PETER.GRAHAM.at.RUTGERS.UNIVERSITY@GANDALF.RUTGERS.EDU
At the Coalition for Networked Information meeting this past weekend I picked up a flyer on the TULIP program sponsored by Elsevier and about 15 major research libraries.
TULIP is an acronym for The University Licensing Program and is a pilot project to see how and on what terms universities and publishers can provide electronic journals to patrons.
Karen Hunter of Elsevier is listed as the contact person and I would be delighted to leave the honor of describing the program to her, as it seems to me a very good example of how publishers and libraries can work together on a project of benefit to both and to our clienteles. Suffice for the moment to say that several dozen journals in material science are involved, page images and ascii text will be provided, and a diverse group of libraries and methods are being examined. The four-page descriptive report (TULIP Newsletter, no. 1) is available from Hunter at Elsevier; it would make an interesting contribution to this Newsletter, and yes that's a hint.
[I forwarded Peter's message to Karen Hunter, who suggested that instead of reproducing the _TULIP Newsletter_, we ask persons interested in TULIP who would like to receive the (irregular) newsletters to send name and address to Karen at: email@example.com. -ED.]
From: Susan Klimley, Geology and Geoscience Libraries, Columbia University, firstname.lastname@example.org:
In Hannah King's comments (11/8/92) on the difficulty of getting firm journal prices, she also mentions the problem of publishers not honoring claims. Journal claims and replacements are increasingly problematic in my branch geology library. There are three areas where there are problems:
The limitation of claim periods to shorter and shorter windows of opportunity. The problem is especially acute in my geology library where most things are received irregularly and the large number of serials make review of all titles a once a year proposition. We have also had publishers initially repond to a claim saying, "This item shipped xx/xx/xx." We wait and claim again only to receive the notice, "Too late to claim."
Publishers require that a whole volume be purchased when only a single issue is needed. We pay the whole volume cost and end up with unneeded issues.
Replacement issues are priced as part of our institutional subscription price. We have paid the premium price for multiple users already. Why isn't a replacement issue priced at the cost of publication?
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: email@example.com; 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. To get a list of available issues send a message to LISTSERV@GIBBS.OIT.UNC.EDU saying INDEX PRICES. To retrieve a specific issue, the message should read: GET PRICES PRICES.xx (where "xx" is the number of the issue). To subscribe to the newsletter, send a message to LISTSERV@GIBBS.OIT.UNC.EDU saying SUBSCRIBE PRICES [YOUR NAME]. Be sure to send that message to the listserver and not to Prices. 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.