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-Guidelines for Journal Usage (Dan Lester) Marcia Tuttle 16 Jul 1996 13:11 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 15:58:18 -0600
Subject: -Guidelines for Journal Usage (Albert Henderson) -Reply

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 17:58:04 EDT
From: Albert Henderson

Peer reviewers, including those that decide what research to underwrite,
are stuck with the same poor information resources as the grant writers.
If we can improve the information resource, we can improve the
cost-effectiveness of research and you won't have to be a heretic any

If only ten percent of the $14 billion contributed to academic R&D by the
Federal government could be saved by doubling library materials
expenditures at universities, we would break even. Actually, I am
suggesting an improvement in productivity rather than a cut in Federal
support. Libraries could spend it any way they felt wise.

Two points:  First, I may always be a heretic in these matters.  o-)
Second, sure, ten percent would be nice.  But the chances of that
happening in our lifetimes is so remote that I'd probably be better off
investing in stocks for a company that will mine gold on the moon.  (and,
I'm 53, and remember '48, but not the item you cite later on.  )

I also think it would be a wise policy for the Fed to invite more grants
for library research, to evaluate the work that has been done and
published. We would need some good library collections, but the result
would be better productivity all round.

So do I.  But again, the chances of significant increases in those funds
is right up there with the Gold from the Moon stocks.

NOTE: By saying there isn't a snowball's chance for some of these things
happening doesn't mean I think that dogooders shouldn't try for them.
But, being "old and cynical" I'm not going to sit around and wait for them
when I've got regular daily work to get done to help our patrons get by
with the money and materials and staff that we DO have.

[All this time they were telling the libraries they had to cancel
subscription because they had no money.]

The scandal, which never mentioned the trampling of the library budget,
was sufficient embarrassment to cause the resignation of the president of
Stanford University in 1991 who I suspect never looked over the shoulder
of the bookkeeper during his 11 years in office.

Right.  We all read it in the _Chronicle_ and even in the local dailies.
And, yes, there are others who do such shaky things.  If they were done in
the publicly supported institutions, the offenders would likely end up in
jail.  But that, like the free dinners, is a fact of life.  I can't defend
criminals, but I'm also not so naive as to think we'll ever eliminate all
of them, at least in this life.

The professional associations that have been chartered to represent the
interests of their members in the promotion and dissemination have
considerable explaining to do, it seems to me. They have not been living
up to their mission statements. If they have been simply coasting, they
might well face a challenge to their nonprofit status. Of course, it is up
to the members to urge them into action.

Good point.  And professional associations necessarily get some hearing
come departmental accreditation time.  Of course the fact that the great
majority of the necessary journals on the ACS's list for Chem Dept
accreditation are published BY the ACS doesn't help their credibility with
the administration, the Board, or Joe Citizen.  (personally, from my
limited knowledge of the lit of chem, many of the top journals DO come
from ACS...but not perhaps in the proportion they require for

If a faculty senate is more than a rubber stamp of administrative policy,
then faculty should have a local voice as well.

I'm sure that there must be a useful and powerful faculty senate somewhere
in the world.  But, I've never seen it in seven institutions, and I've
never really heard of one.  But, it could happen....


Dan Lester, Network Information Coordinator
Boise State University Library, Boise, Idaho, 83725 USA
voice: 208-385-1235   fax:  208-385-1394     OR
Cyclops' Internet Toolbox:
"How can one fool make another wise?"   Kansas, 1979.