This is an interesting piece of reading for the weekend-----It came forth
from my rep at the NIU library.  Something think about---

Have a good weekend--

As we in the library again examine ways to acquire journals with
traditionally tight resources, I'd like to share with you an initiative in
which the Association of College and Research Libraries is involved, a
public information campaign,  Create Change ( . A
group of scholarly societies and library organizations is attempting to
spark dialogue on and generate alternatives to the scholarly publishing
system now making it difficult for many libraries and scholars to gain
access to published research.

The site has a wealth of information, including charts
and graphs of real and estimated cost and cost-impact information, the text
of a brochure which can be used, the results of several recent pricing
studies, a database of journal editors, a list of speakers on the topic of
scholarly publishing who are willing to speak on these issues and the
alternatives across the U.S., alternative models of publishing and examples
of new projects which show some promise, a discussion of the effects of
publisher mergers, and more. As a library user, researcher, teacher,
reviewer, or editor, the fact of increased serials prices has more far
reaching implications than many realize.

 Year after year, libraries are reducing their journal and monograph
collections, even though the production of scholarly information grows
exponentially. As a consequence, you, your colleagues, and your graduate
students have access to less and less of the world's scholarly output each
year. Scholarly communication has become a multi-billion dollar business in
which commercial publishers routinely increase prices by double-digit
percentages each year. Libraries simply cannot afford to keep up with unit
costs for commercially published journals, which are typically three to
seven times as high as society or not-for-profit journals. A straight-line
projection suggests that by 2015, the average academic research library
will have had to cancel another 17%  of its journals and cut back in other
areas - just to keep up with inflating prices. Another projection, based on
a somewhat less favorable economy, predicts a subscription reduction of 45%
for the average research library! Currently, 121 North American members of
the Association of Research Libraries spend a total of US $480 million on
journals.  By 2015, it is estimated that the cost to support these journal
subscriptions will be as much as US $1.9 billion, with individual libraries
paying nearly $16 million a year - just to keep their journal collections
at current levels. To put this                figure in context, the
current total budget for the average  ARL library, including salaries,
collections, equipment, supplies, and everything else, is $16.76 million!

Below is the text of the brochure introducing the problem, and Create
Change. I hope you can take the time to read it, and to peruse the site.

Scholarly communication refers to the formal and informal processes by
which the research and scholarship of faculty, researchers, and independent
scholars are created, evaluated, edited, formatted, distributed, organized,
made accessible, archived, used, and transformed.

Publishing is the formal system whose key players include faculty,
publishers (including scholarly societies), and libraries. Building on the
works of others, faculty first create and then give their research to
publishers; publishers manage peer review, and provide editorial
improvement and wide distribution; libraries acquire, organize, and provide
access to primary resources and new materials and preserve them for future
generations of scholars.

The current system of scholarly communication is changing. Libraries and
their institutions can no longer keep up with the increasing volume and
cost of scholarly resources. The promise of the digital revolution to
decrease costs and increase access has been threatened by commercial
publishers intent on maximizing revenues through raising prices and
restricting use. Projects and proposals to transform the system are being
shaped primarily by stakeholders outside of the faculty---publishers,
librarians, administrators, state legislators, information technologists.
Involvement by faculty is critical in ensuring a new system that meets your
needs and those of future scholars.

 The System Is No Longer Working

You may be finding it harder and harder to locate articles you need as most
campuses continue to cancel journal subscriptions.

o Commercial publishers are major players in science, and increasingly
social science, journal publishing, and report profit margins up to 40%

o Journals have gone up in price an average of 9% a year since 1986, while
the consumer price index has increased only 3.3% a year

o Libraries spent 170% more to purchase 6% fewer journal titles in 1999
than in 1986

o Commercial journal publishers are expanding their market control through
acquisitions, mergers, and the purchase of individual titles from learned
scholarly societies

o Societies sometimes "sell" their titles to commercial publishers who
capitalize the expansion of the journal through significant increases in
the subscription price to libraries

Your star graduate student in the humanities may not be able to find a
publisher for his or her first book.

o Subsidies from granting agencies and universities for publishing in the
humanities have virtually disappeared in the last 15 years

o Libraries are purchasing 26% fewer monographs today than they did 15
years ago due to high journal prices and resources in new formats

o Many scholarly monographs sell only 200-400 copies compared with 1500
copies a decade ago

o University presses reject some quality manuscripts with limited market
potential because publishing costs cannot be recovered

When you publish, you may be signing away your rights to use your own work.

o Copyright transfer agreements often require you to transfer all of your
copyrights exclusively to the publisher, thereby losing control of any
subsequent public distribution of your work

o Restrictions on use may apply to personal distribution for teaching and
research purposes, or increasingly to publicly available web archives

Although a possible alternative for scholarly communication, electronic
publishing brings its own challenges.

o Some major commercial publishers are seeking to restrict access to
electronic information through legislation and technical protections

o Many of the electronic resources available on your campus are governed by
licenses which often restrict how you and your students can use the content

o Small societies and university presses do not have the capital to invest
in the new media

o Societies worry that individual faculty will drop their memberships if
the society's journals are available on a campus network

o Societies and presses fear that they may not be able to attract quality
manuscripts if faculty are uncertain about the perceived value of
electronic publications in the promotion and tenure process

o Libraries are concerned with the long-term preservation and archiving
issues raised by electronic media

The System Is Changing - YOU Can Make a Difference

o Encourage discussion of scholarly communication issues and proposals for
change in your department and school

o Include electronic publications in promotion and tenure discussions

o Encourage your professional society to consider creating enhanced
competitors to expensive commercial titles

o Support your society's electronic publishing program by submitting
papers, reviewing, and serving on the editorial board

o Encourage your society to explore alternatives to contracting or selling
publications to a commercial publisher

o Encourage your society to maintain reasonable prices, and faculty and
user friendly access terms

o Modify, if appropriate, any contract you sign with a commercial publisher
ensuring your right to use your work, including posting on a public archive

o Examine the pricing, copyright, and licensing agreements of any
commercially published journal you contribute to as an author, reviewer, or

o Consider using your influence by refusing to review for expensive
journals; by refusing to serve on editorial boards of such publications; by
supporting the library's cancellation of expensive, low-use titles; and by
encouraging colleagues to do the same

o Investigate your campus intellectual property policies and participate in
their development

o Invite library participation in faculty departmental meetings and
graduate seminars to discuss scholarly communication issues

o Include your librarian when meeting with a publisher's representative

o Familiarize yourself with journal cost-per-use studies, such as those
conducted at Cornell and Wisconsin (see Create Change web site)

o Support your library's participation in SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing &
Academic Resources Coalition

o Submit papers to SPARC-supported journals in your discipline, serve on
SPARC editorial boards and/or agree to review papers for SPARC titles

If you are a journal editor:

o Take an interest in the business aspects of your journal

o If warranted, consider moving your journal to a noncommercial publisher
or creating an alternative journal

For more information on these issues, contact your library liaison and
visit the Create Change website

 May 2000. Create Change is a partnership among Association of Research
Libraries, Association of College & Research Libraries, SPARC Washington, DC

Norman A. Stahl
Professor and Chair
Literacy Education
GH 223
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: (815) 753-9032
FAX:   (815) 753-8563
[log in to unmask]