NS19.2 PERGAMON PRICES IN FAXON DATABASE, Marcia Tuttle
NS19.3 AMPLIFICATION OF THE REPORT ON AIP'S PUBLICATIONS BOARD IN NS 18, Ken Ford
NS19.4 EUROPEANS, THE JAPANESE, AND SOCIETIES AS PUBLISHERS, Tony Stankus
NS19.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
Marcia Tuttle, TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET.
I sent a questionnaire to all direct subscribers of the newsletter on Sunday. For a talk I am giving at the United Kingdom Serials Group Conference in late March, I asked you to tell me what you do with the newsletter and how you respond to the information it contains. Thank you for the ones already returned; I'm listening! If anyone did not get a copy of the questionnaire or has "lost" it, I'll be happy to send you another.
NS19.2 PERGAMON PRICES IN FAXON DATABASE
Marcia Tuttle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET.
[On January 16 I FAXed the following letter to Michael Markwith, Region Manager, The Faxon Company.]
Dear Mike: I am working on UNC-Chapel Hill's Faxon supplementary invoice dated 12/13/91, and I notice that once again my library is paying added charges for Pergamon titles. That happened last year, when our renewal invoice was dated Septem- ber 18. Pergamon personnel told me then that they had already sent the 1991 prices to Faxon before that date. Faxon's response to my complaint was that updating the database was delayed for a few days, and the Pergamon (elec- tronically-transmitted) prices were entered just after my invoice was run. This year the invoice was dated October 16, four weeks later. It again had out-of-date Pergamon prices. Another domestic subscription agency had the 1992 Pergamon prices on August 9, 1991 (and I assume that Faxon did, as well), and had them in their database by August 21. I must conclude that for some reason Faxon is deliberately delaying updat- ing Pergamon prices, among the highest in the world and with the highest rates of increase. Is it to hide the true prices from libraries so they will order Pergamon titles, or so they will not cancel those they already subscribe to? Is it for use in competitive bidding against other subscrip- tion agents? This experience makes me question whether this practice is widespread with Faxon; have prices for other major publishers also been deliberately delayed? As a result of the publicity given Donald Koepp's action involving Pergamon titles and his resolution not to renew until he has firm prices, I have been instructed to consider taking similar action. Based on the last two years' experience, if UNC-Chapel Hill followed Princeton's practice, our Pergamon titles with Faxon would be transferred to another subscription agent, one who will give me current pricing information as soon as it is available. If, in fact, Faxon is deliberately withholding information from librarians about the actual cost of journals, I will feel obligated to share this concern with my colleagues through the NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING IS- SUES. I will be happy to publish Faxon's reply as well. Sincerely, Marcia Tuttle, Head Serials Department [On February 12 I received the following letter from Mike Markwith] Dear Marcia: I am responding to your letter of January 16 and our discussions at the ALA Conference regarding: (1) Faxon's handling of 1992 Pergamon prices, and (2) the question of renewing without firm prices. The first is an operational question, the second a more philosophical one, and both are relative to timing issues. Faxon was late by two months in entering Pergamon 1992 prices in our data- bases. Quite honestly, we did not respond effectively to the initial tape- load problem of August 23 as Jim [Smith] and I explained in detail during our meeting at ALA. According to Joel Baron, Vice President and Chief Pub- lications Officer, "we had some technical problems with the coding and were unable to read the (initial) tape." There were reprogramming requests of Pergamon, and other attempts to machine load the rates failed. We believed that the technical problems would be resolved quickly. Hindsight is 20-20. We were wrong, but not deliberately so. I think the proof of our commitment to load new rates is in this year's electronic posting of rates for Else- vier, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and Springer to cite comparable publishers. I want to be clear and emphatic that there was no "deliberate delay" in updating Pergamon prices! As you know, we began advising our clients before ALA in June, 1991, of Pergamon's intention to revise U.S. pricing to a single worldwide exchange rate standard for 1992 renewals. During ALA and after, our client communi- cation updates tried to continually keep everyone informed on latest price increase projections. It is ironic that we were trying diligently to load rates earlier and to keep everyone informed, yet the new Pergamon tape problems caused a longer delay than if we had manually keyed the new rates. All 1992 rate changes from Pergamon will be loaded into our database immed- iately upon receipt, regardless of any potential technical problem. Your concern for delayed pricing raises the larger question about renewing without fixed prices. This demands the attention of all parties in the "serials chain" -- publisher, library, vendor. As long as libraries ask us to renew early in their fiscal year, the availability of fixed prices is problematic. Many publishers, as you know, do not set their rates until they have a picture of projected orders or other influencing factors. This is a classic Catch-22. Faxon is working with publishers to provide earlier rates to better coincide with renewal patterns, i.e., June/July/August. To set the context, approximately 75% of our libraries normally renew by mid-August. Therefore, even a flawless Pergamon pricing tape-load by the end of August would result in 75% of our clients who would have supplemen- tal billings on the Pergamon titles. I would like to pursue the possibili- ties of finding solutions to the "fixed price for renewal" question. Could this be a Newsletter topic? A joint article? NASIG workshop? Would you like to pursue developing together a proposal or pilot project? As you know from our years of working together, I am committed to maintain- ing a long term client relationship based on honesty and professional serv- ice partnership. So is Faxon. The Pergamon tape load process was an anomaly in our standard operating procedures. In truth, our s.o.p. is to learn from all mistakes and implement rigorous best practice procedures for all busi- ness operations. As I mentioned on the phone, you have an open invitation to review our Total Quality program in person at Westwood or I could ar- range for Rich Lynch, the manager of our Quality Program, to come to Chapel hill and share with you all our TQM experiences, programs, and future plans. With best regards, Michael Markwith Region Manager ---------- [I FAXed both my letter and Mike's response to a director of Pergamon Press in Oxford, England, for possible response. On Februry 18, I received the following letter.] ---------- Dear Marcia, RE: Your correspondence with Faxon Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the above. I refer to the delay you have experienced in getting firm 1992 Pergamon prices from Faxon. Pergamon's 1992 prices were despatched to all major agents by courier on 16 August 1991. We are not aware of similar delays in updating Pergamon's prices with other agents. We hope to have 1993 prices available to agents by end July 1992. Yours sincerely, Mayur Amin General Manager, Market Research
NS19.3 SPRINGER-VERLAG REORGANIZATION
Press release dated February 12, 1992.
In early January 1992, Springer-Verlag made the corporate decision to reorganize the international editorial activities. This consolidation, basically a concentration of acquisition efforts, will, undoubtedly, lead to stronger, more focussed programs in more Springer-Verlag offices around the world. It was necessary to attain the best results for our financial and human resources.
As a result of our decision to combine some editorial programs, fifteen people (6%) of Springer-Verlag New York's work force have been laid off, the first staff reduction in the twenty-eight-year existence of our house. In no way should this step be misunderstood by our loyal customers in libraries, bookstores, wholesalers and subscription agents. The new Springer office in Santa Clara, opened in November 1991 and dedicated to editorial activities in scientific computing and statistics, shows that, in its 150 years existence, Springer-Verlag is more than ever committed to publish the best and most up-to-date scientific, technical and medical materials and to provide support and service to all our customers.
NS19.3 AMPLIFICATION OF THE REPORT ON AIP'S PUBLICATIONS BOARD IN NS 18
Kenneth Ford, Executive Director, American Institute of Physics, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIP's Publications Board brings together once a year all of the editors of our journals and the journals of our Member Societies. It is a valuable forum for the editors to discuss common problems, share ideas, and give advice to AIP and to each other on all manner of things from plagiarism to page charges.
Newsletter NS 18 mentioned an idea that came from one of our editors at last year's meeting: that we produce member copies of journals with cheaper materials than are used for library copies. We did not follow up on this idea. With relatively short print runs, it is not a practical step even if it were determined to have some merit otherwise.
The report mentions "the problem of rising subscriptions." If only we had that problem! The report also says that our journals are online. So far only the abstracts and bibliographic information are online. Needless to say, we are talking about and thinking about the day when the journals will be fully online. An advanced composition system that has recently become operational at AIP will hasten that day.
[My apologies to Ken Ford, AIP, and the AIP Publications Board for being in too big a hurry to get the last newsletter out. I omitted the word "prices" (rising subscription PRICES), and I misread ACS for APS.-ED.]
NS19.4 EUROPEANS, THE JAPANESE, AND SOCIETIES AS PUBLISHERS
Tony Stankus, Holy Cross, LIB_STAN@HLYCROSS.BITNET.
Your latest Newsletter contained a particularly good comment on the remarks of Lelde Gilman and myself on shifts in world publishing of science. Owing to technical difficulties, I couldn't print the newsletter today and the name of this observer is lost to me, as was the exact wording of his or her comments. Nonetheless, here is my reply:
1. Where scientists choose to publish is surprisingly sociological. They do not always choose to publish in American journals, although these remain quite strong. The biggest change over the last ten years has been the return of many of the best European papers to pan-European Eurojournals. This is not a delusion. At least the Continental Europeans (as opposed to the British, in particular) have decided to cast their individual national society lots together and have genuine Eurojournals. There are practical financial reasons for this (with few exceptions like VCH among German chemists). Most individual European national societies have not been doing very well fielding respected titles on their own. Many were not widely taken outside of their own countries and many had been doing badly in perceived ratings services such as citation rankings. The solution was not usually to give one national society press the job of issuing the consolidated Eurojournal, it was to turn the Eurojournal over to one of the European-based corporate publishers who had the distribution network, technical knowhow, and the financial resources to "do it right." This means that Elsevier, Springer, Karger, Kluwer, IRL, etc. now control more and more of both the loyalty of an increasingly proud Euro-community of scientists and the ultimate access to those journals. The idea that the shareholders of these corporations are widely spread across many countries, including a substantial bloc of US shareholders with American perspectives and loyalties, is simply not true. They are almost exclusively "Euro"-held and "Euro"-minded. I am not surprised by the anecdote concerning the notion that if the Americans won"t pay maybe the Japanese will. As the American share of their subscription bases shrink, American reactions to their price increases may become less important, rather than more important. The EC is feeling and flexing its muscle these days, and looking out for itself.
2. Having said all this, I agree heartily that some Europublishers are making a mistake "counting eggs that may not have hatched" as real, live chickens. I have very heavily researched not only Japanese, but several other Pacific Rim publishing patterns and find that there is a reassuring conservatism out there: for Asian scientists, and for their librarians, US society journals are very much number 1. The sociocultural traditions that bind together Europeans both in the past and in their EC reincarnation of today are alien to most Asians. They worry about "keiretsu's and "Zaibatsu"s" forming scientifically that will make it harder from them to crack the "Eurojournals" with their manuscripts. They know that they are neither Belgians, nor Germans, nor French, nor are they "Eurocitizens," and they feel that it might be best to avoid complications. By contrast, they know that the Americans have few prejudices with regard to their scientific manuscripts and will handle them very well. The most cited papers from Japan, year-after-year, are the ones that appear in American journals. "Why tamper with a winning formula?" they ask themselves.
Curiously, owing to historical bad experiences, there is very little feeling that Japan ought to be the nucleus for any "Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" that matches the rise of the Europublishers. The Koreans, Taiwanese, Singaporeans, Hong Kong Chinese, and Malayasians like and trust Americans more than they like and trust the Japanese both industrially and scientifically. The sentiments that the Japanese have expressed concerning the Anericans are nothing like the epithets that the Japanese have long made well-known for their Asian "brothers." Ironically, the Japanese are not offended by being seen as somewhat feared and disliked by other Asians (it makes them proud even now) nor by being seen as somehow dependent on American journals in order to be published (they view that as long as the article is well- circulated, let the American societies bear the journal infrastructure costs of publishing). They don"t need to own all America to sell all those cars!
NS19.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET.
>From Helen M. Shuster, (hshuster@wpi.WPI.EDU)
Do have any specifics on how the periodical prices are affecting small to medium sized college libraries? I read about the huge cuts that large University libraries are implementing, and this is interesting, but we would be interested in other smaller college libraries' specifics on dealing with the price increases.
For example, we subscribe to approximately 1450 periodical titles at a cost last year of $395,469 and 760 standing order titles at a cost of $75,743. We have been cutting our periodical costs between $20,000 to $25,000 for each of the last few years with the input and cooperation of faculty, but have been able to add some new titles up until this current fiscal year. We have cut our standing orders about $5,000 for the past two years. We purchased 2 passwords to CARL Uncover a year ago -- the access is available over the campus network -- and this year we also are paying for the cost of faxing articles located in Uncover to see whether this is useful in light of having to cut subscriptions.
>From Deana Astle, Clemson University (DLAST@CLEMSON.BITNET):
Just got the following letter from Faxon.
The publisher has notified Faxon that their 1992 subscription rate information upon which we based our 1992 subscription payments is incorrect. Although the publisher has accepted our orders at the incorrect price for your 1992 subscriptIons and YOU WILL NOT BE BILLED FOR THE BALANCE, we feel that this information should be noted in your files for future reference.
The publisher is Nature Publishing Co., a US subsidiary of Macmillan, London. The old rate is $98; the new rate is $198.
This is a refreshing change.
>From Fred Friend, Librarian, University College London (email@example.com):
My message to the AIP if I were addressing them would be to urge them to get into their hands an even higher proportion of the good quality publication than they have now. Nobody will miss the poor quality work if it is never published but we must ensure that the good quality work is published by publishers with academic interests at heart.
>From Jim Thompson, University of California at Riverside, (THOMPSON@UCRVMS.BITNET):
In regard to the last item in No. 18: not all your readers may know, though some who don't know may be interested to learn, that STBS is a Gordon & Breach affiliate.
>From David Foott, Monash Universit,y (DFOOTT@fcit-c1.fcit.monash.edu.au):
In a previous life [as a Systems Librarian] I'd massaged 4 years' data to produce a pricing model that was pretty hopeless at anticipating price variations [always upward?] for individual titles, but managed a global prediction of +/- 1.5% for a small library with about 2,500 subscriptions. The Australian situation is made even more complex by the fact that our currency fluctuates against every other currency -- at least in the US your US prices don't have that variable. My model was a simple one, looking at price variations over previous years, and weighting the influence of more recent changes. There were other variables built in -- currency of country of origin, currency of country of agency, etc.
The type of data your Newsletter produces would've been realy useful to me then, as I was always worried that the projected prices were inaccurate, and an outside reliable source to confirm trends would've helped.
From: hshuster@wpi.WPI.EDU(Helen M Shuster)
We received a four paragraph letter from Pergamon yesterday (not to us specifically, just addressed "Dear Librarian") and the whole letter concerned SOLID STATE ELECTRONICS. The last paragraph clearly states that libraries can choose to subscribe to each title together or separately.
I called our account rep at Faxon again and told her about the letter. She still said that all the information they had was that the added charge was for the original title -- SOLID STATE ELECTRONICS. So I faxed her the letter.
She called me to say that she had received my two faxes (one a copy of the information from this newsletter on the separate pricing of SOLID STATE ELECTRONICS and APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY; and the other the letter from Pergamon stating that separate pricing was available). She told me that their rate sheets from Pergamon call for one price for SOLID STATE ELECTRONICS including APPLIED SUPERCONDICTIVITY and a separate price for APPLIED SUPER- CONDUCTIVITY by itself. So as we still wanted SOLIC STATE ELECTRONICS, under this scenario we had to get (and pay for) APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY as well. Anyway, Faxon is going to contact Pergamon, and offer refunds......
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 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 as news is available. Editor: Marcia Tuttle, BITNET: TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET; Faxon's DataLinx: TUTTLE; 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), Charles Hamaker (Louisiana State University), James Mouw (University of Chicago), and Heather Steele (Blackwell's Periodicals Division). The Newsletter is available on BITNET 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. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++