Standard Reference and ILL Source Falling into the Cracks Leland Alkire 06 Mar 2007 19:42 UTC

  We just received word from Thomson Gale that the monograph Periodical
  Title Abbreviations, just issued in its 17th edition and containing
  over 240,000 cryptic short forms and their full titles, will be
  discontinued once this latest press run (January '07) is exhausted.
  Dispite urgings to do so, Thomson Gale does not plan to issue the
  work in digital form.   The issue at Thomson Gale appears to be one
  of "no big bucks involved so why should we bother?"   A common story
  in publishing these days.

   PTA has been of value to reference and ILL librarians for over 30
  years in larger research institutions and other libraries.  It would
  be a shame if it were to die without an effort to find another way to
  continue the service that it has provided.

  I have been the editor of this work since the 1970's and hold the
  copyright.  Any ideas out there about where I should take this
  reference source next?  We could simply put it on the net as a free
  source or maybe Google or Yahoo would take it in, but unless someone
  keeps updating it with the thousands of new short forms that continue
  to be created by the information world it will lose its currency.  I
  am turning 70 and am in retirement as an former librarian, so there
  is some future limit to my role in this.  My wife, still working as a
  librarian (schools) has been the other editor.  We have given a great
  deal to this effort over the years and cannot bear to just let it
  drop.  We have thought of contacting a larger university press to see
  what interest might exist.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

   Beyond this, our thanks go out to all the librarians who offered
  those wise and sound suggestions toward the improvement of PTA over
  the years.  You made a difference to many a perplexed researcher
  - all over the world.

  Lee Alkire

  Reference Librarian, Eastern Washington University, Retired