NS33.2 SMU ACTS TO CONTROL SUBSCRIPTION COSTS, Maureen Pastine
NS33.3 UPDATE ON _THE CHRONICLE_ ONLINE, Judith Axler Turner
NS33.4 PERGAMON TWO-TIER PRICING STRUCTURE, Bart Harloe
NS33.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
Marcia Tuttle, TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET or Marcia_Tuttle@unc.edu.
I'd like to call to Newsletter readers' attention relevant articles in the last two_Library Issues_ (ISSN: 0734-3035; binonthly, $35.00/ year; P.O. Box 8330, Ann Arbor MI 48107). The January issue contains not only a regular "Dollar Watch" by Mark Sandler, but also "Society Publications: A Good Thing Just Got More Expensive," by Deana Astle. Sandler tracks the performance of the US dollar over the previous twelve months. Astle explains the causes of unusually high price increases for society journals and warns, "If libraries are to remain affordable for academic institutions, campuses must soberly re-examine the system of scholarly communication with the express purpose of restructuring it."
Paul Metz, Virginia Tech, in "Making the Most of a Bad Situation: A Successful Journal Cancellation Project," (_Journal of Academic Librarianship_ May 1992, p. 76-82) passes on tips learned from his library's cancellation of $300,000 worth of journals. Very practical advice.
_Publishers Weekly_ for May 11, 1992 has a report (p. 31-33) on the AAP's Professional and Scholarly Publishing section's annual conference. It includes coverage of a panel on document delivery, with talks by Paul Gherman, Becky Lenzini, and Karen Hunter. Definitely worth reading.
NS33.2 SMU ACTS TO CONTROL SUBSCRIPTION COSTS
Maureen Pastine, Director, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, VB7R0017@VM.CIS.SMU.EDU.
The following letter and resolution have been approved by the SMU Senate and are being sent to publishers:
April 21, 1992 Dear [Elsevier (includes Pergamon); Akademie Verlag and Springer Verlag; Kluwer Academic Publishers; Gordon & Breach]: The spiraling costs of journals published by your company and several others have led to a crisis situation at Southern Methodist University. The Science & Engineering Library at Southern Methodist University has cancelled 498 science journals over the fiscal years 1984/85 - 1990/91, a total of 8% of the periodical titles held. Despite these cancellations, the cost of the remaining titles has increased 49% over the same period. The Science & Engineering Library cancelled another 256 titles in 1991/92 and added 20 new titles for a net loss of 236 titles. Another serials cancellation project prior to the next fiscal year is inevitable. This information was provided to the Faculty Senate, which passed the attached resolution. This resolution should be of interest to journal publishers. Faculty Senate Resolution Whereas the Faculty Senate Subcommittee on University Libraries has studied the problem of serials acquisition policies and has recommended certain strategies for the future, including a greater focus on "access" over "ownership," be it resolved that the faculty Senate supports further cancellations of journal titles when the level of cost is above what is deemed appropriate. We do this in order to express our grave concern about the pricing structures for certain journals, particularly in the sciences and engineering fields. A thorough review of our subscriptions for 1993 will be made, and we will not make a renewal decision until we have a firm and fair price. Fair pricing will be considered in relations to both annual inflation and reasonable production costs. There is a limit as to how much we will pay for journals, regardless of their scholarly value. Instead, we will do our best to find alternative ways to retrieve and disseminate scientific and technical information. Areas where titles are particularly expensive include physics, geology/ earth science, chemistry, biology, and civil/mechanical engineering. Publishers in these subject areas may see fewer subscriptions from SMU libraries now and in future years until pricing structures become more reasonable. Supporting Commentary for the Resolution The faculty is willing to challenge traditional distribution and pricing methods, if pricing and access continue to be problematic. In most cases, the faculty pay publishers the charges for reprints and page charges and then the libraries pay again to receive the same journal. This raises serious questions about the equity and efficacy of the present system of distribution of scientific knowledge. We are concerned that publishers often require us to renew subscriptions before telling us or our vendors the price; we want to know the price of what we are buying before we decide to buy. When prices of our existing subscriptions are increased beyond what appears to be reasonable, we will cancel them. We will continue to purchase only those titles which do not require new profit each year beyond inflation levels. We will target for cancellation those titles with the largest percentage increases. Traditional sources of funding have not kept up with rising costs and demands, and new funding sources will be rare. Scholars at Southern Methodist University will change the way they conduct research if the pricing of print subscriptions to journals is not reduced. The astonishing journal price increases we have seen reflected in invoices over the past decade have led to a review of all titles and their percentage increases in order to determine which titles will be cancelled. A number of journals, to which we now subscribe, will no longer be purchased by SMU libraries. When these titles become absent from ours and others' library shelves, this will dampen the enthusiasm of potential contributors as well.
NS33.3 UPDATE ON _THE CHRONICLE_ ONLINE
Judith Axler Turner, Director Chronicle Information Services (A division of The Chronicle of Higher Education), email@example.com.
According to Kenneth Kirkland, Sharon Bonk of SUNY Albany and Arlene Moore Sievers of Case Western reported on the impact of the electronic journal on the serials industry at the United Kingdom Serials Group 15th Annual Conference.
In their workshop, Kirkland reports, they mentioned _The Chronicle of Higher Education_. I'd like to bring NSPI readers up to date on The Chronicle's venture into electronic publishing.
We are not just "trying to digitize," we are actually on line at the University of Southern California, and have been since October 1991. The USC pilot project (USC, our partner in this effort, calls it The Chronicle project) was designed to teach us what it means to make a paper publication electronic -- in terms of production and use.
The material in The On-Line Chronicle goes back to September, 1989, and we update it every Tuesday -- a day before our publication date. The paper is part of USCInfo, USC's popular campus information system, and is full-text searchable. The user interface was designed in partnership with the talented librarians and computer-center staff at USC, under the direction of John Waiblinger. We are so pleased with this partnership that we have extended it for another year. In that year we plan to continue adding news and opinion articles, and to supplement them with features such as our New Scholarly Books list, our Calendar of Events, and Fact Files such as enrollment by race.
USC students and faculty members can walk up to any public terminal and search, read, and download Chronicle articles, or gain access to USCInfo from their desks through their free accounts. We have seen use of The OnLine Chronicle bloom, running more than 200 hours in a typical month. We are studying use of The Chronicle, and already we have some interesting findings:
* People browse on line. They read through headlines to find stories that appeal to them, then call up the stories themselves.
* People who have never read The Chronicle -- including students -- use it as a resource, and return to it regularly (although not every week, the way subscribers do).
* Subscribers still read The Chronicle in paper; they use The On-Line Chronicle as an index and recall aid.
I'm sorry to say we are not yet ready for Hypertext, as Kirkland said Bonk and Sievers reported, but we haven't ruled it out, either. We hope that we will soon be able to make an electronic Chronicle widely available.
NS33.4 PERGAMON TWO-TIER PRICING STRUCTURE
Bart Harloe, Claremont Colleges, BHARLOE@ROCKY.CLAREMONT.EDU.
Readers of this newsletter may be interested to know of a new(?) Pergamon pricing policy that recently came to light here at Claremont, partly as a result of a serials review project that focuses on publishers as well as high-priced journals.
A Pomona College math professor attempted to renew his subscription to the _Journal of Clinical Epidemiology_ at the personal subscription rate of $125.00 instead of the library rate of $735.00. Here is the response from the Circulation Manager/Journal Circulation Department:
We have established a two-tier price structure whereby individuals whose library already subscribes to the above title, at the usual published price, may order a second or additional subscription for their personal use at the reduced rate.Adding insult to injury, the letter continues:
Unfortunately, we have not received details of your library affiliation which is necessary for you to qualify to receive the journal at the concessional rate. I am, therefore, arranging for our Accounts department to send you a refund cheque for US $125.00. I regret having to take this action, but this is necessary in fairness to the many libraries who support this journal, thereby making its continued publication possible.The faculty member asked me if I knew how widesparead this two-tier pricing structure was. I had to confess to him that I had no idea whether this pricing policy applied to all Pergamon titles, or indeed whether it was being practiced by other STM publishers. Can readers of this Newsletter provide an answer to this basic question?
It should be noted that this particular faculty member is going to pursue the matter with a friend who is a member of the American Epidemiological Society to see "if he can exert pressure on Pergamon." And the faculty member added: "I support cancelling any of our subscriptions from these publishers.'
Finally, the letter from Pergamon to this faculty member at Pomona College was dated 20 January 1992. As of 4/27/92, he noted that "While I'm no longer receiving the journal, I have yet to receive my $125 either."
NS33.5 FROM THE MAILBOX
The Mailbox is: TUTTLE@UNC.BITNET or Marcia_Tuttle@unc.edu.
>From Fred Friend, Librarian University College London, firstname.lastname@example.org [or, email@example.com; see below.]:
I agree with Chuck Hamaker's high regard for Dick Rowe's views on the future of scholarly communication (NS 32) but I am surprised Chuck has such low regard for other people's views. There are also, for example, some very good articles in the April l992 issue of _Scholarly Publishing_. I also think it is a mistake to polarise "just in time" and "just in case." In most academic libraries in the future a higher proportion of the budget may go on "just in time" but no doubt a good deal will still be spent on "just in case." That does not mean that purchasing has to be at random, however; it is possible to have a collection development policy which reduces the chance element of the "just" in "just in case."
By the way, I understand some people have found it difficult to e-mail me because UK addresses are the wrong way round (or the right way according to us!) I am sorry about the inconvenience but please persevere.
[For you who have had trouble getting e-mail to Fred, please note that for US addresses, the British JANET id's have to be turned around. Thus, Fred's id is: firstname.lastname@example.org. -ED.]
>From Scott Piepenburg, MARC Consultant, The Follett Software Company. 809 N. Front St., McHenry IL 60050-5589; 800 323-3397:
This is in response to an article in the May 9, 1992 issue of the Newsletter by Harry Llull at the University of New Mexico.
Follett Campus Resources (FCR), one of the sister companies of Follett Software, is one of the nation's largest wholesale book purchasers. Whether FCR is one of the purchasers whom Mr. Llull is concerned about is not really important. What is important is alerting the appropriate companies. I have taken the liberty of sending a copy of his article to FCR. What I suggest Mr. Llull do is contact the college bookstore at the Univeristy of New Mexico and determine who they use as a jobber during buy-back time. I suspect that the thief may be accessing the catalog via the bookstore.
FCR does not make their wholesale price list available to individuals, only to bookstores.
If this problem becomes chronic, I suggest that the librarian contact the bookstore(s) on and around campus, as well as informing the appropriate book-jobber associations. Also, some book-buyers will not, as a matter of policy, purchase books which have formerly been library books, unless contacted directly by the library itself.
>From Gillian Page, Pageant Publishing, 5 Turners Wood, London NW11 6TD, UK:
Some paradoxes from the UKSG Edinburgh 1992 -- or almost any other recent meeting of librarians and publishers concerned with journals.
How many believe simultaneously
1a. The average readership of a paper published in an academic journal is about ten, and
1b. Many academic journals have a significant number of individual subscribers?
2a. CD-ROM has the advantage that you pay for it all upfront; there are no additional user costs, and
2b. The trouble with journal subscriptions is that you pay for all the contents and not just the bits that you want?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 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; Internet: Marcia_Tuttle@unc.edu; 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 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 free of charge through BITNET from the editor.