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Re: Cancellation of print journals (Albert Henderson) Marcia Tuttle 14 Apr 2000 14:13 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 08:45:26 -0400
From: Albert Henderson <NobleStation@COMPUSERVE.COM>
Subject: Re: Cancellation of print journals

on 12 Apr 2000 JoAnne Griffin <jgriffin@TUFTS.EDU> wrote:

> As we acquire more journals in electronic format, our library is
> beginning to look at cancelling some (many?) of their paper
> counterparts. Up to this point, we have been reluctant to do so because
> we did have some faculty who still wanted paper subscriptions (though
> they have been quiet lately!) and because we have been concerned with
> the whole archiving issue. How many of you have eliminated paper
> subscriptions, either in part or wholly? How did you decide what to
> cancel? Are you concerned about archiving? Did it count in your decision
> to cancel the paper? What has been the reaction from your patrons?

The archiving issue is still unsolved, if I understand the formal position
of the Council on Library and Information Resources correctly.
<> No matter how enthusiastic one may be about digitization,
this technology does not satisfy preservation issues of fragile media and
technical obsolescence.

Having witnessed the brittle paper problem brought on by late 19th century
technology, it is clear to me that saving a little money 100 years ago
eventually cost us dearly. The same will happen to future generations
after all libraries cancel print and publishers conclude that there is no
need to produce it.

Publishers make such decisions based on financial and regulatory issues.
They do not understand preservation beyond the compliance with the tax
code and seductive promises made by "marketing" in order to entice
customers. Expecting them to take on the preservation role of libraries is
unrealistic and unfair to the future.

Unfortunately, colleges and universities are also dominated by financial
goals limited only by laws and regulations. I see them sacrificing the
traditional mission, chasing profits by picking researchers' pockets and
hoarding financial assets. The cancellation of print journals is one more
symptom of what Robert A Nisbet called the Degradation of the Academic
Dogma.(Basic Books, 1971)

When all the print journals are canceled, publishers will surely cease to
produce them and there will be no archival copy anywhere. If librarians
don't stand up for preservation, no one will.

Albert Henderson