[Reprinted, with permission, from SERIALST.]
This week we received notification via our vendor that there would be steep price increases for the titles published by Annual Reviews, Inc. The price increases are due to the publisher initiating an institutional rate, and libraries now fall within that category, which will more than double the price for each title. Prior to 1997, rates for libraries were the same as rates for individual subscribers. Some examples are below; however, you can see the entire price lists (one for individual prices, one for institutional prices) at this URL: http://www.annurev.org One cannot help but notice that this publisher still describes themselves as a nonprofit scientific publisher. As one of our staff said, the descriptor no longer fits!) Our vendor rep said that there have been a lot of calls about these price increases. I urge all concerned individuals to let the publisher know not just how displeased we are about the price increases, but also the effect such increases will have on our decisions to retain/cancel these titles. The publisher's general e-address is: firstname.lastname@example.org; Customer Services Dept. 800-523-8635 from USA or Canada, elsewhere 415-493-4400 (ext. 1). Those of us going to ALA can also drop by their booth and have a face-to-face conversation with them.
Note: non-US prices run $5-$10 higher.
Annual Review of...
... Anthropology V. 25(1996): $49 US / V. 26(1997): $110 US ... Biochemistry V. 65(1996): $59 US / V. 66(1997): $136 US ... Energy & the Environment V. 21(1996): $76 US / V. 22(1997): $152 US ... Psychology V. 47(1996): $48 US / V. 48(1997): $110 US ... Materials Science V. 26(1996): $80 US / V. 27(1997): $160 US
176.2 RESPONSE TO GILLESPIE FROM ANNUAL REVIEWS, INC.
Mona Rice, Marketing Manager, Annual Reviews, Inc., email@example.com
[Used with permission of the author and the recipient.]
Dear Ms. Gillespie,
I received a forwarded copy of your e-mail message regarding Annual Reviews institutional pricing policy, which I assume was distributed to some of your coworkers and fellow librarians.
I am personally very sorry to see that this decision is having such an impact upon librarians like yourself, and I know that it does come as a great shock to some. I assure you that this was a very difficult decision for the Annual Reviews Board of Directors, and it was in no way driven by greed or the desire to fill our own pockets. For several years we have been drawing down our reserves to subsidize the relatively low prices we have offered to institutions. However, due to increased production and distribution costs, the Board determined that a price increase was our only remaining option and would be necessary to insure the long-term financial stability of our organization.
I will be faxing you a copy of a letter from our President and Editor-In-Chief that was recently sent out to librarians in an effort to explain this difficult decision. I encourage you to feel free to contact Dr. Gubins directly if you would like to discuss the issues in more detail.
Also, relative to your e-mail message, Annual Reviews has not yet reserved a booth space at the ALA conference, although we might consider doing so in the near future. However, we will have our own booth space at the upcoming Special Libraries Assn. conference in Seattle on June 8 - 11, and I will be present in our exhibit booth during that conference. Our booth space at SLA is # 347; I encourage you and any of your fellow librarians to come see me during the SLA conference so I can have the opportunity to personally hear some of the difficulties your organizations may have encountered as a result of the recent price increase. I will then be able to communicate these issues directly to our President and to the Board of Directors.
Again, my personal apologies for any difficulties you may be facing as a result of the price increases. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you and your colleagues at the SLA conference. If not, feel free to contact either myself or Dr. Gubins directly at any time.
[In a cover letter to the fax of Dr. Gubins' letter, sent to the newsletter editor, Ms. Rice says, in part:
We also sent a copy to the various booksellers and subscription agents who process orders for our publications, in hopes that they would pass on the details to their customers. We do not always have access to the individual customer lists from these booksellers and subscription agents, but we did the best we could to inform institutional buyers of the reasons for the price changes.
[Dr Gubins] has expressed his willingness to receive calls or e-mail messages directly from any librarians who need more information about the pricing change.
Because librarians acquiring Annual Reviews, Inc. publications through a bookseller or subscription agent may not have seen it, Dr. Gubins's letter follows in its entirity. -Ed.]
176.3 LETTER TO ANNUAL REVIEWS, INC. CUSTOMERS
Samuel Gubins, President and Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 3, 1996
With the enclosed pre-release notice, I would like to provide you with some background about the new institutional pricing policy that Annual Reviews has adopted.
Annual Reviews has traditionally charged very low prices. Many librarians have told us that our publications are a great bargain. Even though volumes in institutions are read by many users on an ongoing basis, we have asked the same price for individuals and libraries. Annual Reviews has subsidized this multiple-use readership for several decades by drawing down its reserves.
To maintain Annual Reviews' long-term financial stability, our Board of Directors recently decided that, after taking all reasonable cost-cutting measures, we must act immediately to implement institutional prices. Regrettably, no gradual price increase plan for institutions was established over the past few years. As a result, the price increases are rather abrupt.
Since its founding with the publishing of Volume I of the Annual Review of Biochemistry in 1932, Annual Reviews has been -- and will continue to be -- a nonprofit organization governed by a national board of scientists who serve without compensation. Each year approximately 800 scientists -- drawn from the Who's Who of international science -- are invited to submit critical reviews.
If you measure the value of our publications, I think you will agree that they are still very competitively priced -- indeed a bargain. The Institute for Scientific Information ranks all 26 of the Annual Reviews within the top ten most highly cited publications within their discipline; 18 of them are ranked within the top three; 10 are ranked #1. It is clear that the scientific community uses and cites Annual Reviews - that's why libraries consider them to be an invaluable resource. And comparing the new cost of our volumes with other scientific publications, Annual Reviews are inexpensive!
Thank you for your continued support of this highly valued publishing program and for your understanding of the issues involved in reaching this difficult pricing decision. I welcome your comments and suggestions. You may reach me directly at 1-800-523-8635, extension 345, or via e-mail: email@example.com.
176.4 QUESTIONING THE 80/20 RULE
Harry Llull, University of New Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Peter Walsh, Kings College London, email@example.com
From Harry Llull:
I believe Robert Campbell's response is a message that those who are crying "serials crisis" really need to carefully think about. First, I too was "raised" on the 80%/20% rule. And although I had always taken in-house use counts and done limited user surveys through the 1970s and 1980s, it was only at the end of the 1980s when I conducted a comprehensive year and a half use study that I realized the 80%/20% rule was a myth. I am aware of a national laboratory technical library which has accumulated data over several years on the use of its journal collection and again one can visibly see how collections are used across the disciplines and across the years.
Our profession is very ruled based. And we have a very difficult time giving up rules and changing rules. From a cultural perspective, the 80%/20% rule can be described as a very western culture, factual rule. However, our profession has other rules. Ranganathan's rule: every book its reader, every reader its book. This is a more philosophical rule and is the type of rule that holds to the truth of changing periods of time. Some have not allowed the technology of access to change their thinking concerning the 80%/20% rule. I believe there is a saying "if you build it, they will come." To paraphrase that saying, "if you increase the ability to access and identify articles through electronic databases, they will find, read and use."
Is there a serial crisis? Not really; it is just part of our jobs. And
if we understand our jobs and our roles within the information field we
should know our job is to address the issues and solve the problems. To
cry crisis and point fingers at others, does not solve the problem. As
Robert Campbell points out and many of us realize, some of the money
that goes to funding research should go directly to funding the
dissemination of the results of the research. The most direct and
effective form of dissemination is through the journal, whether
electronic or paper, located in the library or on an organization's
network. If this were happening, more libraries would be able to
subscribe and prices would probably be lower. This would also have a
positive effect on direct access by researchers to the information and
lower the cost of libraries borrowing from other libraries. The research
overhead issue seems to me to be the type of issue that librarians can
address with others in a more positive, solution oriented approach.
Issues such as the changes in the strength of currencies, cost of paper
and cost of postage will not solve the long term downward cycle of
cancelling subscriptions and the opposite and equal effect of increases
in subscription prices.
From Peter Walsh:
In reply to Fred Friend's suggestion that 80% of what is published in scholarly journals is never read, two contributors to NSPI No 175 refer respectively to "the research of...Tenopir and King" and "serious research summarised last year in LJ by Donald W King and Carol Tenopir." Could anyone enlighten me as to where this research has been published?
The Tenopir and King article (Library Journal March 15 1996 p32) states that "journal articles average nearly 1000 readings, with a typical journal having about 50,000 to 100,000 readings," but does not cite a source except "surveys performed for 26 companies and government agencies." I would love to have this statement amplified. Is that 1000 readings In 12 months or 12 years? Is that typical journal a single part or a volume? And, knowing the average number of readings they can presumably also tell us the percentage of articles that get no readings. Surely information as important as this has been published in a peer reviewed journal.
Statements of fact and opinion appearing in the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues are made on the responsibility of the authors alone, and do not imply the endorsement of the editor, the editorial board, or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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 Academic and Networking 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 27515-8890; Telephone: 919 962-8047; FAX: 919 962-4450. Editorial Board: Deana Astle (Clemson University), Christian Boissonnas (Cornell University), Jerry Curtis (Springer Verlag New York), Isabel Czech (Institute for Scientific Information), Janet Fisher (MIT Press), Fred Friend (University College, London), Charles Hamaker (Louisiana State University), Daniel Jones (University of Texas Health Science Center), Michael Markwith (Swets North America), James Mouw (University of Chicago), and Heather Steele (Blackwell's Periodicals Division). The Newsletter is available on the Internet, Blackwell's CONNECT, and Readmore's ROSS. EBSCO customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format.
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