NS22.2 E-JOURNALS: STIRRING THE WATERS, Birdie MacLennan
NS22.4 LIBRARIES AS ARCHIVAL NODES, Peter Graham
NS22.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
Marilyn Geller, MIT, MGELLER@ATHENA.MIT.EDU
CITATIONS FOR SERIAL LITERATURE
Purpose: To identify literature related to the serials industry To disseminate this information in a timely manner To create an index with electronic searching capabilities Scope: Complete table of contents (and abstracts when available) for: Serials Review Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues Selective table of contents for: Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory College and Research LibrariesCITATIONS FOR SERIAL LITERATURE is an electronic serial which publishes the table of contents and abstracts, when available, for articles related to the serials industry. It is not an electronic discussion list. Messages sent to the list will be received by the editor but will not be passed on to subscribers.
The value of this electronic serial is in the creation of a database of citations pertaining to the serials industry which can be used for both current awareness and research. The format of this database will allow subscribers to take advantage of the electronic medium's speed of information dissemination and searching capabilities. Currently this database includes table of contents for all issues of NEWSLETTER ON SERIALS PRICING ISSUES (in CSL volume 1, no. 1-19), table of contents and abstracts for SERIALS REVIEW, volume 17, no. 4 (in CSL volume 1, no. 19), and selective table of contents and abstracts for LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS: PRACTICE AND THEORY, volume 16, number 1 (in CSL volume 1, no. 19).
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CITATIONS FOR SERIAL LITERATURE is edited and published by Marilyn Geller.
NS22.2 E-JOURNALS: STIRRING THE WATERS
Birdie MacLennan, University of Vermont, BMACLENN@UVMVM.BITNET.
[Reprinted from SERIALST.]
Electronic publications were the topic of lively and provocative discussion at at least two of the meetings I attended at ALA-Midwinter: the LITA/ALCTS Serials Automation Interest Group, and the recently formed ALCTS Electronic Publishing Discussion Group. Both forums were filled to capacity. In the first forum, Gail McMillan (Virginia Tech) and Marilyn Geller (MIT) gave an overview of work being done at their institutions to facilitate public awareness of, and access to, e-journals. In the second forum, Barbara Winters (Wright State U.) led a discussion that underscored the need for an ALCTS group to monitor developments in the area of electronic publishing. A healthy show of hands, in this forum, indicated that a large number of people in the audience were involved in some kind of work to accommodate this relatively new medium at their home institutions.
Having easy access to an e-mail account and being a beneficiary of information from numerous e-publications and discussion forums, I do not question the ripening of the e-medium and/or the promise that it holds as an alternative to printed sources -- particularly as I watch this year's round of subscription cuts. Nonetheless, an innocent conversation with colleagues from reference and collection management departments at my home institution has led me to wonder if I might not find some tactful way to play devil's advocate in the current wave of e-journal controversy. Here goes:
While many institutions seem concerned with a need to dive head first into making e-journals as accessible as possible, I wonder if there are institutions out there that are purposefully dragging their feet on this issue because: (a) they lack staffing and/or resources to make e-journals available, (b) they're not convinced that e-journals could/should fall into the scope of their missions, (c) they're not convinced that the medium is "there" yet (i.e., too much text; not enough easy translation of a graphics capability that is so often necessary in science & technical literature), or (d) other reasons that haven't been named.
Informal dialogue with public services staff has indicated that there's been no demand for public access to e-journals here. My perception is that people are encouraged to get e-accounts, offered guidance on use the networks and the resources they offer, and taught to go after whatever interests them in a given, or variety of subject area(s). If and when there is a need to do more than this, presumably we'll hear about it and move to make a more public form of access available.... In the meantime, we're watching... and waiting... and involved in many other projects that demand our attention.
What are other people/institutions doing? I'd be particularly interested in hearing from some of our overseas colleagues on this one...
P.S. This commentary is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of my institution.
Danny Jones, University of Texas Health Science Center, JONES@UTHSCSA1.BITNET.
Date: February 25, 1992 To: Carleton C. Stewart Editor-in-Chief Journal of Leukocyte Biology From: Daniel H. Jones, M.L.S. Assistant Library Director for Collection Development Subject: Subscription cost of the journal I am writing to express grave concern about the pricing structure for the JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY. According to a recent mailing I received the subscription rates are as follows: _____________ Domestic rates for 1992: Regular membership (includes JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY) $48 Institutional subscription to the Journal $696 Foreign rates for 1992: Regular membership (includes JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY) $96 Institutional subscription to the Journal (Canada & Mexico) $716 Institutional subscription to the Journal (outside N Am) $816.50 _____________
At these rates I must wonder if libraries are not substantially underwriting the cost of the society's journal and other activities as well. Having examined an issue of the journal I am confident that individual subscribers cannot be paying the cost of the twelve high quality issues they receive yearly and I can only conclude that the difference is being made up by gouging libraries. While the practice of separate prices for individual and institutional subscribers is becoming more widespread, it is unusual to see institutional rates of 14.5 times the individual rate as is the case with the JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY; I consider this an abuse of institutional pricing.
It is difficult to imagine a practicing scientist who is unaware of the difficulties their libraries are facing because of the rapidly escalating prices of journals. And it is most distressing to see a journal published by a scientific society behaving in such a predatory fashion. While the JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY did not increase its price for 1992, it seems clear that institutional subscribers are carrying an unfair share of the cost of publishing the journal. We will be reviewing our subscription for 1993 and will not make a renewal decision until we have a firm price.
NS22.4 LIBRARIES AS ARCHIVE NODES: THOUGHTS AFTER READING HAMAKER'S HAYMAKERS
Peter Graham, Rutgers University, GRAHAM@ZODIAC.BITNET.
Hamaker's comments are very interesting and pointed. Let me enlarge on one issue he raises. The idea of official archive nodes is an interesting and good one, and has come up before; he has fleshed it out usefully. The point I'd like to make is that I observe that university computing centers have not typically been interested or particularly expert in maintenance of data on line for long periods, i.e., archivally (many do well at providing tapes for long periods, e.g. of ICPSR data). This seems to me in the current electronic information to be precisely the role for libraries -- that is, to assert their archival role in the electronic format.
This would mean the library systems groups and collection development group working on providing a file server that from day one was intended to archive data for long periods of time; thus file integrity and upward compatability in the future would be important as original design specifications. For example, it would militate against the use of specialized library systems and in favor of the use of de facto or de jure industry data standards, e.g. files that could be shipped using NFS or using standard IBM software.
These details are not the point of my present comment; the point is that here is a very real case of the generality we've talked about, that is, the need for libraries to get into the electronic information provision activities in a dirty-hands way. My own argument has been that this is exactly the useful role for the technical services people (working with library systems people and university computing people), as they have the skills and analytic capabilities that will be required.
NS22.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
The mailbox is: TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET.
>From Hannah King, SUNY HSC Library at Syracuse (KINGH@SNYSYRV1):
We need to prepare a budget by the beginning of April and we're trying to figure out what kind of increase in serials prices we can look forward to. Faxon says they're coming out with a prediction next week. But I'm wondering what you and your contacts are predicting.
>From Christine Christiansen, University of Miami (CCHRISTI@UMIAMI.BITNET):
It seems to me that there is a recent increase in order direct policies from publishers. In particular, publishers of low cost journals. I am refering to Playboy magazine's recent announcement that all orders must be direct.
It hardly seems worthwhile for them to process so many orders direct and it is definitely not cost effective for us to handle such titles this way.
I am contacting you because I am curious to know if anything can be done about this or if anyone or any group is working with this issue. I know that a few years back Reader's Digest caused a great deal of commotion by converting to order direct and we at least still handle this title directly.
I would be interested in working towards changing publishers' minds but I don't know where to begin. Any information or assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
>From Keith Stetson, Fairfield University (KSTETSON@FAIR1.BITNET):
From APSNEWS, vol.1, no.3 (March 1992), p.1-2: The American Physical Society Council has approved pilot programs to suspend page charges for PHYSICAL REVIEW C for manuscripts submitted using the APS Comuscript Program, and for all manuscripts submitted to PHYSICAL REVIEW D starting in July 1992. This pilot program will be evaluated after three years for possible continuation or expansion to other APS titles.
"To ensure that the journals remain financially solvent, the task force also recommended an increase in the library subscription rate compensating for the estimated loss of page charge income..." It was recommended that the changes be phased in slowly "...to avoid abrupt, intolerably large price increases for library subscribers... the maximum extent of an increase will not exceed 13 percent."
Our 1992 subscription for PHYSICAL REVIEW A,B,C,D increased 14.7% from 1991!
>From Katy Ginanni, Auburn Unversity (KATYG@DUCVAX.AUBURN.EDU):
I just happened to see the latest issue of NURSING TIMES (ISSN 0029- 6589, v.88 n.7) as it came in today. The lead cover story is entitled "Libraries at the limit: can they cope with future demand?"
"Ah ha," I thought to myself. "Someone in nursing education has become aware of the rising subscription prices and is informing her/his colleagues." However, even though some valid problems with nursing school library services were cited (among them: unskilled library clerks, books:student ratio, ILL policies, etc.), no mention was made specifically about the rising costs of journal subscriptions. Underfunding was cited, especially in a sidebar story which was a survey of nursing educators, but nothing about journal subscriptions, or the proliferation of STM titles.
>From Jim Mouw, University of Chicago (email@example.com):
We have received two separate mailings announcing Gordon & Breach's acquisition of 17 Akademie Verlag journals. This purchase is effective with the 1992 subscriptions.
The announcement reads, in part:
Gordon and Breach has purchased 17 journals from Akademie Verlag, formerly with East German Academy of Sciences publishing unit. G+B has opened an editorial office in Berlin to expand its German language program and local distribution of books and journals.
Journals acquired from Akademie Verlag--
Archives of Animal Nutrition Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science Archives of Nature Conservation and Landscape Research Archives of Phytopathologie and Plant Protection Asia, Africa and Latin America Biomedica Biochimica Acta Antiquity Nutrition Isotopenpraxis Pediatrics Journal of Information Recording Materials Journal of New Generation Computer Systems Systems Analysis-Modelling-Simulation Optimization Statistics Studia Biophysica
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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. 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.