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From the Editor:
I hope you're all having a great summer. Mine has been a trifle
busy so far, which is why I'm late with this issue.
I hope you will take a look at the Queries posted in this issue,
and send me your thoughts on some of them for the next issue.
I'm especially intrigued by Mark Funk's question about building
some collection development tools into integrated library systems.
Which reminds me to tell you that there will be a contributed
paper session in Seattle on the new generation of integrated library
systems, co-sponsored by the Collection Development Section and
the Technical Services Section. We're hoping that the papers will
represent a good mix of collection developers and technical services
types, all focusing on how we can exploit some of the new functionality
in ILS products. Please, please, please submit an abstract when
you see the call for papers in MLA News.
Also, don't forget that the deadline for nominations for the Louise
Darling Medal for Achievement in Collection Development comes
up real fast. Look for the details in MLA News.
All for now ... off the lake to see if there are any really naive
52.1 NOTICE: AUTHOR FEES IN ELECTRONIC JOURNALS
From: Mark Funk, Cornell Medical Library (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I just ran across notification of a new e-journal, called "Neuroscience-Net."
It is a general interest neuroscience journal, published only
in electronic format, over the Web. The publisher is not familiar
to me (Scientific Design and Information, Inc.) This is a peer
reviewed journal (impressive list of section editors), with a
two week turnaround from acceptance to publication.
So what's new about this, you ask? Well, to subscribe to the journal
is absolutely free. However, upon acceptance of an article, authors
must submit a $650 electronic reprint fee. This charge is to cover
the "cost of storage and transfer of the published article...to
readers around the world." If it wasn't for the list of editors,
I'd swear this was a "e-vanity press." Is this the future?
Or just an aberration? Check it out at:
52.2 NOTICE: "PRINICPLES FOR ACQUIRING...DIGITAL FORMATS"
Forwarded by : Bill Maina, UT Southwestern Medical Center (email@example.com)
[Editors Note: Bill Maina has forwarded a copy of
the University of California document: Principles for Acquiring
and Licensing Information in Digital Formats. It provides
a good starting point for the current discussion on digital information
licensing as well as on the broader collection development issues
posed by digital information.]
The following list of principles is provided to guide the University
and its employees (at both campus and systemwide levels) in developing
and reviewing proposals to/from, and in negotiating contracts
with, providers of information in digital formats. UC librarians
recognize that many of the issues addressed in this document are
not yet fully defined or understood in the emerging digital age.
Accordingly, UC offers this position as a starting point in a
process that will require much discussion, experimentation and
collaboration before it is complete.
1) COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT
a. Conventional collection development criteria should be paramount
and should be applied consistently across formats including digital
b. Principal considerations include (1) establishing a coherent
rationale for the acquisition of each resource; (2) meeting faculty
and student information needs, providing orderly access and guidance
to the digital resources, and integrating them into library service
programs; and (3) ensuring that the advantages of the digital
resource are significant enough to justify its selection in digital
c. Balance must be maintained among:
--information formats (i.e., printed, a.v. and electronic media have different but equally essential purposes and audiences);
--instructional and research tools;
--different needs of each campus.
d. Priority should be given to digital format acquisition of those
resources which offer economies of scale by benefiting the most
faculty and students (locally and/or systemwide).
e. Priority should be given to digital resources when they offer
significant added value over print equivalents in such ways as:
--more timely availability;
--more extensive content;
--greater functionality such as the ability to invoke linkages to local and/or related resources
--greater access because they can be delivered rapidly, remotely, at any time;
--improved resource sharing due to the ubiquity of digital resources;
--ease of archiving, replacing, preserving.
f. UC should retain authority for selecting and deselecting materials
(content and format) and sound selection decisions should not
be compromised by provider-defined linkages between print and
g. A digital collection must contain a sufficient "critical
mass" to evaluate its utility and to justify its selection.
2) COSTS & PRICING
a. Electronic content should cost less than its print analog,
unless there is substantial added value (e.g., Britannica Online;
or a bibliographic database enhanced with full text). Publishers
should be discouraged from increasing prices to amortize conversion
costs over short timeframes. When multiple formats are available,
UC should pay only one price for the use of all.
b. For reasons given in 1f, electronic and print costs should
be separated. UC should not be required to purchase both print
and its digital equivalent.
c. Content and access costs should be separated. UC should have
flexibility in selecting appropriate access mechanisms (including
local or remote server, resource sharing agreements with other
institutions, etc.) and should be able to alter these agreements
for an existing license, subject only to access and use restrictions
in the license agreement. The information provider should inform
UC how much of the total cost is attributable to (1) licensing
the content, and (2) providing access.
d. Information providers should be expected to demonstrate that
they are assuming a major share of the risk in developing and
marketing new products. UC, as an early participant and partner
in piloting products prior to general release, is making a considerable
investment in infrastructure, delivery mechanisms, training and
support; the information provider's pricing should recognize this
e. The purchasing power of UC's collections budget is declining;
information providers should recognize this reality and track
their inflationary price increases to the U.S. Consumer Price
f. UC prefers pricing based on the size of the actual community
which will use the digital information, or the actual recorded
use (either unlimited simultaneous use or transaction-based licensing,
as appropriate) , as opposed to pricing based on the size of the
total UC population.
a. The license should include permanent rights to information
that has been paid for, in the event that a licensed database
is subsequently canceled or removed.
b. Information providers should employ a standard agreement that
describes the rights of libraries and their authorized users in
terms that are readable and explicit, and they should reflect
realistic expectations concerning UC's ability to monitor use
and discover abuse. Agreements should contain consistent business
and legal provisions, including, for example, indemnification
against third-party copyright infringement liability and permission
to use records in personal bibliographic systems.
c. As a public institution with a broad mandate to serve the State
of California, UC's "authorized users" include faculty,
staff, students and all on-site users of the campus or University,
and UC's "site" includes every campus location, physically
and virtually, and the Office of the President, UC-affiliated
hospitals, and any location where authorized UC faculty, staff
and students might be at home and abroad. "Users" may
include others directly served by UC (e.g., UC-managed laboratories
and other research and instructional facilities and programs,
K-12 teachers, and outreach programs).
d. The licensed content, plus any associated features and capabilities,
should be accessible from all institutionally-supported computing
platforms and networked environments; this access must be based
on current standards (e.g., Z39.50 compliant in 1996) in use by
the library community.
e. Licenses should permit "fair use" of all information
for non- commercial educational, instructional and research purposes
by authorized users, including unlimited viewing, downloading
f. Information providers should be able to link their access control
mechanisms to UC's authentication infrastructure; access to their
products should not require individual passwords and/or user IDs.
g. Licenses should not limit UC's rights to enhance or reformat
data (if content integrity is preserved) to make it more visible
or convenient for UC users (e.g., by providing links to other
UC holdings, or annotation for use within the UC community).
h. UC use data should be available to UC as part of contractual
provisions for a license and the confidentiality of individual
users and their searches must be fully protected. Use data generated
by UC may be available to the information provider.
a. Data formats should follow industry standards and must be fully
documented. Data should be platform-independent and available
in a multiplicity of formats (e.g., ASCII, PDF, SGML, etc.)
b. UC must be able to provide access from convenient workstations
connected to a network infrastructure which is reasonably fast.
System capacity and bandwidth should be adequate to provide response
time favorably comparable to that of existing MELVYL system databases.
c. Interfaces should be easy to master by ordinary users
d. Information providers must keep UC informed of format and content
changes and coordinate their implementation with UC.
a. As research institutions, UC and its libraries have a legitimate
interest in maintaining archives and a mission to ensure archival
b. Agreements should clearly state archival responsibility.
c. Agreements should permit UC to make/obtain digital and/or printed
copies of content for archiving and for use in perpetuity.
Comments and suggestions are welcome and should be addressed to
the Collection Development Committee c/o David Farrell, Chair:
firstname.lastname@example.org; (510) 642-3773.
52.3 FOLLOW-UP : DROPPING PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS TO ONLINE INDEXES
From: Florence Schreibstein, Albert Einstein Medical College (email@example.com)
Yes, we have dropped subscriptions to paper indexes in the last
5 years: Biological Abstracts (all sections), Dental Abstracts,
Index Medicus (first from 2 copies to 1; then the one copy), Cumulative
Index Medicus (2 copies to 1)
We would like to [cancel] Chemical Abstracts but hear complaints.
Also our paper subscription allows for the highly reduced access
charge for one of our depts. Every year we talk about dropping
it but not yet. It's not easy for us to determine usage but my
personal opinion is that we would save quite a bit by canceling
the paper sub. We could do a lot of online searches for less than
the $16,000 subscription though the problem is that searches would
have to be mediated and during the day. We are looking into canceling
other abstracting and indexing tools for 1997 but they are no
where near the cost of Chemical Abstracts.
We dropped monthly Index Medicus but not the Cumulative. It's
our psychological and real backup. There's no big savings by cancelling
We had one complaint when we switched to Science Citation Index
floppy rather than the print version. There was a frequency change
from bimonthly to quarterly and learning curve.
52.4 BOOK REVIEW: BIOLOGIC VARIATION IN HEALTH AND ILLNESS (CRC PRESS)
From: Melanie Wilson, U. Iowa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am forwarding a review authored by one of our Reference Assistants
here, Paul Dahl.
[Edited for length -- The Editor]
Theresa Overfield, a Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology
at the University of Utah and a Professor Emeritus in the College
of Nursing at Brigham Young University, has drawn together the
scientific data regarding biologic variations between racial groups,
age-specific characteristics, and physical differences among men
and women. This is done without couching the discussion in terms
of the discriminatory separation of individuals and groups into
The intended audience for this book consists of health care professionals,
epidemiologists, physical and medical anthropologists, human biologists,
other researchers in the health field, and students in these fields.
This book is also likely to see use by reference departments as
health care professionals become more cognizant of such information
and its impact on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of
illness. The book is a handy source to have in answering ready
reference questions and in directing individuals to more in-depth
source materials. The focus of each chapter is as follows:
Chapter One - Biologic Variation Introduced
Provides a definitional framework of biologic variation and overviews
of human genetics and population genetics.
Chapter Two - Surface Variations and Anatomic Differences
Presents information on visible physical differences and internal
anatomical variations among the differing racial groups.
Chapter Three - Developmental Variations in Childhood
Examines racial differences in growth and development of children
and their probable origins
Chapter Four - Developmental Variations in Adulthood
Focuses on the developmental variations among adults and reveals
the unique effects of aging on racial groups and between sexes.
Chapter Five - Biochemical Variation and Differential Disease Susceptibility
Provides drug reaction differences, or internal biochemical metabolic
rates, among racial groups. Racial variations in the rate of infection
and basic susceptibility are also part and parcel of this chapter.
Chapter Six - Environmentally Related Variation
The effects that environmental stressors--climate, altitude, and
diet--have on racial groups serves as the primary focus of this
Chapter Seven - Sexual [Gender] Variation
The less known, and infrequently studied, differences in brain
characteristics, life expectancy, physical strength and performance,
and reactions to stress, between the sexes.
Some potential reference questions that could be answered from
this work are:
What medical conditions show sexual variation? Which sex has a larger brain?
Are their differences in health care and hospital utilization between men and women?
Does the prevalence of moles depend upon on skin color? Do the number of moles increase with age?
Is there any difference between the weight of Black and White newbornsand are there any physical causes?
Are there any differences in body proportions among racial groups? What racial group has the highest rates of gallbladder disease in the United States?
What are the clinical differences in hypertension and biochemical
features between Black and Whites?
One of the great strengths of the book resides in the abundant
number of references provided at the end of each chapter. These
references are very helpful to patrons seeking additional source
material on a particular topic, and may even be useful in detailed
reference consultations initiated by users.
Even though the book has many useful applications, one major flaw
needs correction in order to facilitate access to its informational
contents. The index would be much improved with the addition of
subheadings under certain index terms listed ("American Indian",
"Oriental", etc.) to provide more effective access to
Paul Dahl, Reference Assistant
University of Iowa
52.5 QUERY: USE DATA FOR ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
From: Beth Weil, U.C. Berkeley (email@example.com)
How do we get use data for serials we subscribe to on the web
and what should that data be. I'd like web sites we subscribe
to, to provide us with use data. Seems like we should be getting
more than number of accesses. Here's a couple of things I've been
# of searches
# of articles viewed
# of prints
I would be very interested in people's comments about this.
52.6 QUERY: COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT TOOLS IN INTEGRATED ONLINE LIBRARY SYSTEMS
From: Mark Funk, Cornell Medical College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Why is it that none of the IOLS out there offer any specific Collection
Development module? Sure they all offer Acquisitions, Serials,
and Circulation, which are useful. But why can't any of them put
out a module specifically designed for us? I am really tired of
having to run circulation reports, transfer them into spreadsheets,
hunt down previous titles and ceased titles, etc., etc.
I would like a module that:
1. When I call up a monograph record, it will tell me how many
times the item has circulated in the last X years, and when the
most recent circulation was. This is great for deciding on adding
copies or purchasing a new edition.
2. When I call up a serials record, it will tell me how many times
the journal has circulated, broken down by year:
American Journal of Expensive Information 1996 - 1
1995 - 2
1994 - 1
1993 - 0
I can also get a printout (or tab-delimited file) of all the journals
in the collection, or only the current titles (and it tracks title
changes for you!), or only dead titles (great for weeding decisions).
A similar option is also available for monographic series. The
system would also automatically calculate the cost per circulation.
3. The system will track approval plan purchases, and report on
their circulation patterns over time: this would be broken down
by subject or publisher.
None of this is radical stuff, and I suspect that many of us already
do this type of information gathering, except that it is very
difficult and time consuming, requiring multiple modules, and
often involves re-keying data from a printout into a spreadsheet.
Send in your ideas of what a Collection Development module could
do. Using our combined brain power, we could give the vendors
several hundred thousand dollars of free consultation. I don't
mind, if we could get a useful product.
52.7 QUERY: COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES FOR JOURNAL PHOTOCOPYING
From: Diana Zinnato, Thomas Jefferson University (email@example.com)
I have a question for fellow BLABBERS concerning copyright guidelines
and decisions on purchasing journals. We have followed the old
guideline of considering something for purchase if we had borrowed
it more than 5 times in a year. I'm wondering whether this practice
is still necessary/relevant and if anyone else follows it or if
they have a different perspective on copyright restrictions. Any
insights, experiences or opinions are welcome.
|The BIOMEDICAL LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS BULLETIN (ISSN: 1064-699X) is published
the Medical Library Association's Collection Development Section with the
cooperation of the University of Southern California Norris Medical Library.
BLAB is published more or less monthly, and includes items of news and opinion
contributed by its readers concerning biomedical library acquisitions. |
Editor: David H. Morse: firstname.lastname@example.org. Paper mail: USC Norris Medical Library, 2003 Zonal Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033. Telephone: (213) 342-1134. The BULLETIN is distributed free of charge, in electronic form only. Back issues of BLAB are available at http://colldev.mlanet.org/BLAB/.
Requests for subscriptions and all editorial correspondence should be sent to the editor <email@example.com>.