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Re: Cost of the Journal of Molecular Structure & others ... (David Goodman) Marcia Tuttle 08 Dec 1999 20:08 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 12:56:23 -0400
From: David Goodman <dgoodman@Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: Cost of the Journal of Molecular Structure & others  ...

Al, given that

> the major research libraries stopped growing at the
> same rate as R&D

and although

> It is an outrage

how then should we cope? I do not think there is any way whatsoever to
persuade the US funding agencies and academic organizations to significantly
improve their library support; I have been advised that it is certainly true
at my institution. Though of course you and others should keep trying, it
would be hoping against all evidence to think that we will have more money in
the future.

I see no long range solution except to drastically reduce the basic cost of
the production and distribution of STM information. If this can be done within
the existing structure of commercial and non-profit publishers of print and
electronic journals, that would be very satisfactory. If it cannot, and the
recent behavior of these organizations gives me no reason to think it can,
another less expensive system must inevitably be adopted. Fortunately, there
are proven practical models, with demonstrated low costs (xxx.lanl and
others). That these may be in some ways less satisfactory than the best system
we could have with greater resources is as irrelevant as what sort of car I
would drive if librarians were paid twice as much.  We librarians should see
how we can best instruct our patrons and modify our operations to make the
best use of the new methods.  Academic administrators should revise their
current print-based mode of evaluating faculty if they are unwilling to meet
the publication costs. Publishers should explore the niches that will be left,
 all inevitably  ones where large circulation can be expected, because that's
the only way their costs can be met.

Dr. David Goodman
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627