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Re: Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of ALPSP Critique John Christensen 26 Aug 2005 19:58 UTC

Albert Henderson's own credibility has for years been suspect as he has worked for organizations in the pocket of the "big money" publishers.

John O. Christensen

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Marsha M Aucoin
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 1:24 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of ALPSP Critique

Sent on behalf of Jane Kleiner:

Janellyn P Kleiner
08/26/2005 02:08 PM

cc:    Jennifer Cargill

Subject:    Re: [SERIALST] Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of
       ALPSP Critique

Response to Albert Henderson's comments on the LSU Libraries:

Chuck Hammaker has already provided an accurate response to Henderson's
attack on the LSU Libraries based on the circumstances at LSU a decade ago.
As the lead author of the article Chuck cited and  Associate Dean of
Libraries, I feel compelled to update that information and offer my own
response.  In a nutshell, your information is inaccurate, dated, and a
total misrepresentation of LSU and the Libraries then and now.

The journal project in the early nineties was a cooperative one, supported
by the University administration with faculty participation. We are an ARL
library and LSU is a Carnegie Research Extensive University. Institutions
are included in those groups based on hard data. In the past decade,
Library support has increased substantially, nearly doubling.  Today, we
have more than 30,000 electronic journals, 300+ databases, and over 60,000
e-books plus more than 3 million volumes.  LSU research funding exceeded
$100,000,000 annually several years ago and totaled $132,886,000 in FY05.
This represents substantial improvement for a state university  with a
relatively small population.  In comparison with most flagship
universities, LSU has fewer faculty, researchers, and students but that
size has not diminished the progress we have made. Our research would not
be growing as the rate it is if  'LSU financed its library appropriately
for a voc-ag or trade school' as you stated in your message. In addition to
our growing materials budget enriched by  annual supplements of one-time
monies, the University allocates a percentage of indirect cost monies to
the Libraries. As LSU's sponsored research programs grow, so does our
funding and this is not the only source of increased funding. Obviously, we
have a supportive University administration and  that support was
recognized in that nineties' article.

At the time of those cuts more than a decade ago, our strategies to contain
serial expenditures were commended by more than one accreditation agency.
Many ARL libraries, including at least one Ivy League, looked to us for
assistance in implementing similar programs at their institutions.Our
advice has also been sought internationally. Yes, we canceled numerous
subscriptions but we also added new ones and expanded our electronic
resources and access to other information sources. That article won an  ALA
award that year.  Both, Chuck and I have had numerous invitations to speak
at conferences and universities on our project. Obviously, it was an action
plan that succeeded without alienating faculty or negatively impacting
research and instruction. More insight into how to implement that plan was
sought by other university libraries and other countries. The article was
reprinted in the Chinese equivalent to College and Research Libraries. That
suggests the project was not the disaster you claim.

The grants the Libraries were awarded then and since have supported a
statewide academic library network, library resources, and digital
collections. In this area too, our advice has been sought on funding and
building a statewide library network. LSU Libraries took the lead in these
grant funded projects and the benefits to our library  and other state
academic institutions have been enormous. The network achieved funding from
the state  legislature when federal funding ended. It has been supported by
the state for more than a decade funding online library systems and
numerous  databases. It covered network costs for a new ILS system, a
federated search package, and a software application that links users
directly to articles cited in their searches. The success of our grants and
network programs enabled us to free funds to acquire costly electronic
resources not possible a decade ago -- the Web of Knowledge, IEEE Xplore,
SciFinder, JSTOR, ARTStor, and many others.  We have not had to make
significant cuts since that time. We continue assessing faculty needs and
ridding the Libraries of titles not used while adding new journal
subscriptions & databases that are in demand.

 There are no truths or facts in your message. I suggest that you refrain
from commenting about our library and university since you have no
connection with either and to my knowledge never have.

Jane Kleiner
Associate Dean of Libraries for Collection Services
The LSU Libraries
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: 225-578-2217
Fax: 225-578-6825
---------------------- Forwarded by Janellyn P Kleiner/jkleiner/LSU on
08/24/2005 07:56 AM ---------------------------

Marsha M Aucoin
08/24/2005 07:26 AM

To:    Janellyn P Kleiner/jkleiner/LSU@LSU

Subject:    Re: [SERIALST] Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of
       ALPSP Critique

---------------------- Forwarded by Marsha M Aucoin/maucoi4/LSU on
08/24/2005 07:26 AM ---------------------------

Albert Henderson <chessNIC@COMPUSERVE.COM>@LIST.UVM.EDU> on 08/23/2005
07:46:20 PM

Please respond to "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"

Sent by:    "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"

cc:     (bcc: Marsha M Aucoin/maucoi4/LSU)

Subject:    Re: [SERIALST] Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of
       ALPSP Critique

on 23 Aug 2005 "Hamaker, Chuck" <cahamake@EMAIL.UNCC.EDU> wrote:

> As usual in mentioning LSU's cancellations Al Henderson mis-represents
> key elements of what was achieved. LSU subscribed to new journal titles
> AND enhanced access to other titles through unmediated document delivery
> as a result of the cancellations. There was little evidence that the
> cancelled titles harmed the collection in any way.

             Congratulations to Chuck for making the
             best of a miserable, selfish management

             LSU financed its library appropriately
             for a voc-ag or trade school while getting
             federal research grants designed to
             generate more and more publications.

             Unlike any other research university that I
             reviewed, LSU held its library spending at
             zero growth, around $3.3 million for years
             while its sponsored research grew from $18
             to $68 million.

                         Library                       Federal
             Year        Materials         R&D
                         ($000,000)        ($000,000)
             1983        3.31                    18.79
             1984        2.89                    20.82
             1985        3.13                    26.09
             1986        3.39                    27.81
             1987        3.49                    36.50
             1988        3.37                    38.88
             1989        3.31                    39.09
             1990        3.35                    40.89
             1991        3.30                    55.95
             1992        4.48                    49.21
             1993        3.15                    58.20
             1994        2.98                    67.69

             When I first published these figures
             years ago, some assistant-provost-type
             claimed my figures were wrong. I sent
             my data and never heard another word.

             I certainly would think twice about
             sending any serious student or
             researcher there. If I were at a federal
             science agency I would look closely to
             ascertain if collections were up-to-date
             and complete, if research proposals were
             based on the latest research, and if
             research in progress was responsive to
             latest developments.

             LSU's financial achievements as a 'research
             university'were at the expense of:

             (A) the commons, since its strategy caused
             subscription rates paid by other libraries
             to rise:
                         1. because remaining subscribers
                         had to share the burden,

                         2. by generating increased numbers
                         of articles, adding to production.

             (B) serious researchers who were forced to
             find articles through secondary publications
             rather than browse each incoming issue --
             or to pay for their own subscriptions with
             grant monies.

             Thanks for the comment.

             Best wishes,

Albert Henderson
(ABC-CLIO 2002)

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Albert Henderson
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:08 AM
Subject: [SERIALST] Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of
ALPSP Critique

Dear Serialst

While sharing a vision of open access to information by
researchers at no cost beyond belonging to a library, I
believe that the behavior of university budget managers
over the last 50 years contradicts the following claim:

> The disastrous scenario predicted by ALPSP is that an RCUK mandate
would cause
> libraries to cancel subscriptions, which would in turn lead to the
financial failure
> of scholarly journals, and so to the collapse of the quality control
and peer review
> process that publishers manage.
> Not only are these claims unsubstantiated, but all the evidence to
> shows the reverse to be true: not only do journals thrive and co-exist
> author self-archiving, but they can actually benefit from it -- both
in terms of
> more citations and more subscriptions.

The fact is that the four percent of academic libraries
that control 40% of spending provide an economic base
for the scientific record.

As soon as plain paper photocopies became available and
interlibrary borrowing became legal substitutes for
paid subscriptions, these major research universities
cut their library spending, systematically whittling it
by more than half. One engineering school, Stevens
Institute, bragged it had cut all subscriptions, intending
to exist on loans. LSU turned down the same path. Not only
have subscriptions been decimated, the viability of the
scholarly monograph has been called into question. Perhaps
the worst insult to libraries was the closing of its
historic school of library science by Columbia University,
on grounds of poor profitability.

The claim of finance managers to have no money is simply
bogus in very many cases. As a matter of public record,
the profitability of all higher education institutions
increased by roughly the same percentage as they saved
by cuts to library spending, as reported to the US
Department of Education (see upcoming AGAINST THE GRAIN).

Albert Henderson

(ABC-CLIO 2002)

More reading:

Henderson, Albert. 1999. Information science and information policy.
The use of constant dollars and other indicators to manage research
investments. Journal of the American Society for Information Science.
Online PDF version
DOI 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(1999)50:4<366::AID-ASI15>3.0.CO;2-3

Day, Colin. 1999. The economics of publishing: the consequences
of library and research copying. Journal of the American Society
for Information Science. 50(14):1346-1349.