Re: Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of ALPSP Critique Albert Henderson 24 Aug 2005 00:46 UTC
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. [snip] Congratulations to Chuck for making the best of a miserable, selfish management policy. 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 Former Editor, PUBLISHING RESEARCH QUARTERLY 1994-2000 Contributor HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES. AN ENCYCLOPEDIA (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 To: SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU 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 date > shows the reverse to be true: not only do journals thrive and co-exist alongside > 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 Former Editor, PUBLISHING RESEARCH QUARTERLY 1994-2000 Contributor HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES. AN ENCYCLOPEDIA (ABC-CLIO 2002) <email@example.com> 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. 50,4:366-379. Online PDF version http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext?ID=55001184&PLACEBO= IE.pdf 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. . . . .