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Re: Cellular & molecular life sciences (David Goodman) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 11 May 1999 22:00 UTC

Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 17:43:25 -0400
From: David Goodman <dgoodman@PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Cellular & molecular life sciences add'l vol (John Lucas)

I forward a copy of the e-mail I have sent to the President of Birkhauser

Herr Thur:
I would like to express my dismay at your decision to publish 2 vols. instead
of one of your journal CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES and to charge
almost double the previously-agreed price for the year. I do not consider this
a justifiable practice of a  publisher, especially when the subscription
information states clearly:
< Annual subscription sFr1488 >

Just as you do not permit your subscribers to cancel during the year, as your
subscriber I do not feel it right for you to vary the terms during the year.
Library work on fixed budgets, and do not have control of the amount of money
they are allotted. We cannot spend additional funds of this nature without
impacting adversely the purchase of other publications. The only acceptable
thing to do, it seems to me, is for you to not accept more material than you
can afford to publish with the funds your subscribers have paid.

At this time I will probably meet this situation by not buying the additional
volume, and canceling Princeton's  subscription for this title altogether for
future years. If I should decide the subscription must be continued, I will
most certainly compensate by canceling another Springer/Birkhauser title.

I cannot imagine a practice more likely to kill the journal altogether, as no
academic library ever finds this practice acceptable. I am not alone in my
negative feelings about this practice; I enclose below copies of the first 4
recent e-mails I have received on this subject (As I have not asked the
senders' permission to forward their comments to you, I have deleted their
names and institutions.):

[letters follow]

Dr. David Goodman
Biology Librarian, Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627