Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Re: Institutional versus personal subscriptions ALBERT HENDERSON 05 Jun 2006 17:14 UTC

on 2 Jun 2006 Ian Woodward <iwoodward@MAIL.COLGATE.EDU> wrote:

> > "I think the question should be: Why are science libraries not
> > recognized in the nation's growing 	science R&D spending?"


> Your description of colleges and universities chronically
> short-changing the purchase of scientific and technical literature makes
> reference to a state-of-the-world I do not recognize.  If you look at
> the distribution of use across our print and electronic resources, the
> pattern of requests for items via inter-library loan and document
> delivery, and the portfolio of unfulfilled subscription requests from
> science faculty, you just do not see that picture.  Resources could be
> more optimally deployed (any failures with regard to which are not the
> associate provost's fault), but the utility of pegging library
> expenditures to an index derived from nominal R & D spending or total
> institutional spending is a dubious one.

	It was certainly taken seriously when the reality
	of Sputnik made Western science and education look
	very bad. Politicans and scientists took a look at
	our situation and found that information is the key
	to scientific productivity. For over a decade (until
	we landed a man on the Moon), spending on libraries
	at research universities kept pace with academic R&D
	and its production of articles. After the Moon landing,
	universities began paring budgets from 6 percent to
	less than 3 percent. The ACRL eventually took hard
	numbers out of its accreditation standards. The
	goverment ignored provisions of the Science Policy
	Act calling for an expert in dissemination to advise
	the President. NSF abandoned its annual review of
	DISSEMINATION. I even received a letter from head of
	the National Science Board that misspelled the word
	"dissemination!" [see my article in LOGOS 15.2 2004].

	The NSF/National Science Board's biennial statistical
	volume does not address the subject of dissemination
	very well, even though the NSF was established "to
	foster the interchange of scientific and engineering
	information." Comparing growth of input and output
	(separate tables of dollars spent and articles recognized)
	it is clear that there is a significant loss of

	Meanwhile, Department of Education statistics reveal
	a doubling of profitability, roughly equal to the
	overall reduction in library spending.

	This information is all in the public record, by the
	way, and easily compiled by anyone as I did. I would
	be happy to share my bibliography. See particularly
	my article, "Undermining Peer Review" SOCIETY J/F 2001:

	Best wishes,


Albert Henderson