63.2 RESPONSE TO "PERGAMON PLUS," Dianne Man
63.3 COPYRIGHT: RESPONSE TO FISHER AND FRIEDMAN, James Thompson
63.4 COPYRIGHT: RESPONSE TO FRIEDMAN, Elliott Lieb
63.5 MEDIA MONOPOLY, Bart Harloe
63.6 FROM THE MAILBOX
The past several weeks have been exciting to me as newsletter editor. Thank you for all your messages sent for inclusion in these recent issues. Keep it up!! Thank you also to all the new subscribers. We have a direct circulation of almost 1200. All the recent activity has meant that some items, especially those not coming to me electronically, have been put aside for a less busy time. There is a little room in this issue to mention a few of them.
A visit from my Elsevier representative served to inform me that, in response to librarian requests made during sales calls, all Elsevier publishing locations have, effective with the 1992 subscription year, extended their claims period from 3 to 6 months from the publication date.
There's more good news from Elsevier. One of the most irritating practices of this publisher (to serials acquisitions personnel) has been the birth of "daughter" journals; that is, an established journal (usually issued in sections) would spawn yet another section. The new journal had its own title, its own ISSN, its own (additional) enumeration, and its own pagination. It was available as a stand-alone journal to libraries (or individuals) who did not subscribe to the earlier parts of the "parent" journal. Current subscribers were required to add the new section (and, of course, pay for it!). For 1993, several titles have been unbundled and the duplicate numbering discontinued. Details are available from Elsevier reps.
_The IMS Bulletin_, vol. 21, no. 4 (1992) contains "A Survey of Statistical Journals," (p. 399-407) by Martin Kulldorff, Department of Statistics, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden. The pricing study covers 118 statistics journals and calculates price per paper and price per page, among other measures. Also included are tables showing the ten most and ten least expensive journals based on both the above calculations. In addition, Kulldorff (email@example.com) expresses concern about the increasing prices of scientific journals. He makes four suggestions for scientists to exercise "control over where and how articles are published":
1. When submitting a paper for publication choose to submit it to one of the cheaper journals among those suitable. Avoid totally the most expensive ones. This will not only make it possible for more people to afford reading research results, it will also lead to an increase in size and/ or quality of cheaper journals and a corresponding decrease for the more expensive ones.
2. When refereeing articles for publication, if possible give priority to less expensive journals.
3. If asked in the future, think twice before accepting to become editor or associate editor of journals that you think are too expensive in price.
4. On principle, cancel subscriptions to the most outrageously-priced journals; their publishers will then have to lower the prices or cease publication.
63.2 RESPONSE TO "PERGAMON PLUS"
Dianne Man, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits, South Africa, 056PERIO@witsvma.wits.ac.za:
Like David Flaxbart, I heard about Pergamon Plus from one of our researchers who is on the editorial board of a Pergamon journal. It does not seem as if Pergamon is in any hurry to tell librarians about this scheme, probably because we are such a cynical lot! I have faxed Dr. Peter Shepherd of Pergamon Press to ask for the criteria for inclusion on the special list of libraries but have not as yet heard from him. I would like to know which are the "developing countries" and which libraries within these countries will benefit from the credits.
I showed our researcher your Newsletter no. 59, and he agreed with David Flaxbart that one should view this scheme with great caution as this could just be a great public relations exercise on the part of Pergamon. Interestingly enough, although we librarians would feel that Lois Heiser's questions were fair, he felt that some of them were a little petty, e.g., should a credit for an earth science journal be used for a biology journal? He felt that "this is what is called the collegiality of a university."
As regards the question "If the corresponding (senior) author assigns the credit to an Estonian University, why should Indiana University pay full price and in effect make an unwilling, unknowing donation?" -- his response was: because in a university the rights to intellectual property should belong mainly to the individual intellectual worker rather than to his "employer." He also felt that it was fair for Pergamon to be taxing the rich (via high subscriptions) to benefit the poor rather than reducing subscriptions all round.
I have sent in these comments to show that academics and librarians do not always view a situation in the same light.
63.3 COPYRIGHT: RESPONSE TO FISHER AND FRIEDMAN
James Thompson, University of California Riverside Library, THOMPSON@UCRAC1.UCR.EDU
I would like to comment on recent letters by Janet Fisher of MIT Press, Michael Friedman of Oracle Corporation, and others, regarding the notion of encouraging authors to retain copyright as a means of controlling journal costs.
A number of people, myself included, have written articles suggesting that the scholarly community should take advantage of the fact that scholarly information originates within that community, and urging that the power of copyright, which the AAP has so courteously been reinforcing for us recently, be used to retain control of the information flow.
This suggestion in no way envisions the retention of copyright of individual articles by their authors, however. That would indeed result in a logistical nightmare, as Ms. Fisher has indicated. The idea is to retain copyright within the scholarly community as a whole, and assign it to some entity which would publish the information from within that community. This entity might consist of the university presses of academia, or something new associated with NREN and not yet defined.
The crucial aspect of such a suggested development is the retention within the scholarly community of the property rights of information generated thereby, and the publishing and distribution of that information from within -- rather than through the use of non-scholarly, i.e. commercial, publishers as toll-takers and, very arguably, value-adders on the outside.
The university presses would inevitably play a more prominent role if the commercial publishers were gradually redirected out of the scholarly publishing picture, and within their role copyright would probably be handled much as it is now.
The important step which needs to happen next is the definition of academia's process for distributing its own scholarly information through its own resources. The separation of that information from commercial control will then follow as a matter of course, because the ownership of the information will never leave the hands of the academy.
(The commercial publishers can then look for other commodities to market -- toothpaste, perhaps, or time-shares. I'm not proposing that we put them out of business, only out of OUR business.)
63.4 COPYRIGHT: RESPONSE TO FRIEDMAN
Elliott Lieb, Professor of Mathematics and Physics, Princeton University, lieb@math.Princeton.EDU.
I should like to make the following comment about Michael Friedman's letter in newsletter no. 62.4
He states in part:
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.
This is a valid complaint. It was taken into account in the American Mathematical Society resolution, as I reported in my letter in 56.2:
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.
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.... 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.
63.5 MEDIA MONOPOLY
Bart Harloe, Claremont Colleges, BHARLOE@ROCKY.CLAREMONT.EDU.
In reference to Donna Lively's note on the _Media Monopoly_ by Ben Bagdikian in NSPI #57 RE: increasing corporate control of the publishing industry, I sent a copy of #57 to Mr. Bagdikian and asked for his comment. Here it is:
The references to _Media Monopoly_ are ok but dated and the data quoted is only for media in the US. There was a 3rd edition of MM in 1990 that had the number 26 and the forthcoming 4th edition, probably in 1993, will use the figure "fewer than 23" for control of the majority of US media or of access to the majority of the population. The 4th edition is less precise on the global figure because the biggest change in dominance is less the growth of reach of single corporations with a particular medium (though that has occurred, slowed in pace by the recession and catching up on debt). The most significant change is the spread of each dominant corporation over many kinds of media (Time Warner, for example, over magazines, books, movies, TV, cable, etc.)
The latest stuff I did on the international media scene was in _Nation_ for June 12, 1989. On the world scene there is the same kind of slower spread of oligopoly due to global recession, pauses to refinance debts, and the unexpected delay in making it big in the former USSR and its satellites. Nevertheless, the big media guys from the West (Japan is now the "West") now have their feet in the door of the former Soviet empire and at bargain prices..."
63.6 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
>From Mignon Adams, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, email@example.com, regarding the Ubell study:
I was also called about serving on a focus group, and was also not selected. I am director of a library whose serial collection is almost entirely sci-tech (emphasis biomedical science). It would be very interesting to see just who made up the focus groups -- has anyone at this point been identified as a member of the focus group? (And, by the way, I did not receive a questionnaire, although another librarian in the library did; she threw it away.)
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. 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. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++