Cornell University Library (to cancel Elsevier journals?)

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Nov 14 10:33:02 EST 2003


 On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, Leslie Carr wrote:

> This is an unexpected event! We have always damped down controversy by 
> claiming that open access has no effect on journal subscriptions. Is 
> there any sign from Cornell  whether this move was prompted by 
> physicists or librarians? And how the physicists feel about it?

The cancellation is just a (not unexpected) part of the several-year-old
old-SPARC strategy of trying to drive journal prices down to help
solve the serials budget crisis. 

http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/0697.html

It may be emboldened at this moment by what look to be open-access
developments, but it is not driven by or dependent on them. It is just
the year-to-year struggle by libraries to make ends meet.

Whether the users will go along with it is another question. 

It may help open access, however, if it helps inspire authors to publish in
open-access journals if/when they can (gold), and to self-archive
their toll-access articles if/when they can't (green). But mostly I
think it is just a parallel development in the domain of library budget
policies. Open access is a far bigger issue than the serials crisis,
and an independent one -- it would remain an issue even if all 24,000
journals were sold to libraries at-cost -- but meanwhile, libraries
still have to survive from year to year!

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: Complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/september98-forum.html
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/index.html
    Posted discussion to: september98-forum at amsci-forum.amsci.org 

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
    http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml
    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/berlin.htm
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving_files/Slide0026.gif
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving_files/Slide0021.gif
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving_files/Slide0024.gif
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving_files/Slide0028.gif

> > From: "Eberhard R. Hilf" <hilf at PHYSNET.PHYSIK.UNI-OLDENBURG.DE>
> > Date: 12 November 2003 18:10:35 GMT
> > To: SEPTEMBER98-FORUM at LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG
> > Subject: Cornell University Library (to cancel Elsevier journals?
> > Reply-To: September 1998 American Scientist Forum 
> > <SEPTEMBER98-FORUM at LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG>
> >
> > cc. Stevan for the email-list
> >
> > what is there so outrageous about?
> > The Physics Department of the University of Oldenburg has canceled all
> > commercial journals, with the exception of small ones (less than 200 
> > E),
> > and certainly keeping APS journals, because of PROLA access, and use 
> > the
> > freed money for ordering copies, improving information on online access
> > ways, and training the readers,
> > - search first what information from whom you want
> > - search for the author's home institution, homepage,
> > (by www.physnet.net) PhysNet, either by PhysDep (departmental 
> > information
> > or by PhysDoc (scientific documents),
> > - email the author and ask for a copy or a reprint, or a preprint
> > -- and by that tell him: I am up to now possibly unknown to you, but
> > this shows my interest, and that I am working in the field,
> > and may be ask him a question, that means communicate, than just 
> > passively
> > read..
> > Our tests are: works mostly within 24 hours, costs nothing, improves 
> > own
> > being recognized by famous authors.
> > Selfarchiving serves this to you.
> > Let me know your experiences.
> > Ebs
> > P.S.: recently, PhysDoc is now covering virtually all of self-archived
> > scientific documents in Physics at German Physics departments, 
> > institutes.
> >
> >
> >> aus: Cornell Universitiy Library - Issues in Scholarly Communication
> >>
> >> "For many years, increases in the prices of library materials in all
> >> formats (including more recently electronic) have generally
> >> exceeded—sometimes significantly—increases in library acquisitions
> >> budgets. Libraries have worked hard to minimize the effects of this
> >> imbalance, but we are now reaching a point at which many institutions,
> >> including Cornell, are for this reason no longer able to provide 
> >> access
> >> to some standard materials needed for instruction and research.
> >>
> >> [...]
> >>
> >> The Elsevier Subscription
> >>
> >> As noted elsewhere on this Web site, the prices of commercial science
> >> journals increase at a much higher rate than those of the
> >> not-for-profits. There are a number of such publishers—Wiley, 
> >> Springer,
> >> Kluwer—but the paradigmatic commercial science publisher is Elsevier,
> >> and there are indeed special challenges associated with subscribing to
> >> Elsevier.
> >>
> >> [...]
> >>
> >> In 2003, we were able to maintain our subscriptions to Elsevier
> >> journals, only because we received one-time assistance from the
> >> University Librarian. The primary purpose of this 2003 one-time 
> >> funding
> >> was to buy us some time, so that we would be able to explain these
> >> issues to Library users, and prepare for the possibility that we would
> >> need to cancel a significant number of Elsevier journals for 2004.
> >>
> >> It is now nearly 2004, and the need to undertake such a cancellation
> >> effort has arrived. We can no longer subscribe to so many Elsevier
> >> journals (including duplicates) that we no longer need. We must now 
> >> free
> >> up some of the money spent on Elsevier journals to pay for journals
> >> published by other publishers that are more needed by our users. We 
> >> have
> >> explained this to Elsevier in lengthy discussions, both through our
> >> research library consortium and then independently. We have tried in
> >> these discussions to broker an arrangement that would allow us to 
> >> cancel
> >> some Elsevier titles without such a large price increase to the titles
> >> remaining—but Elsevier has been unwilling to accept any of our 
> >> proposals.
> >>
> >> We are therefore planning to cancel several hundred Elsevier journals
> >> for 2004. The decisions on cancellations will be made on the basis of
> >> faculty input, as well as several years of statistical information on
> >> individual journal use. As will be clear from the remarks above, we 
> >> have
> >> been preparing for this cancellation, while hoping to avoid it, for 
> >> more
> >> than a year—so we do feel we know at this point which journals to 
> >> cancel
> >> that will have the least impact on research and instruction at 
> >> Cornell.
> >> Once the cancellations are complete, we will list the titles on this 
> >> site. "
> >>
> > full text:>
> >> http://www.library.cornell.edu/scholarlycomm/index.html





More information about the Jrnlnote mailing list