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Journal Crisis
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Mary M. Case analyses the survey on electronic resources of ARL libraries. Includes pricing models, subscription terms, journal packages, cancelling print, usage terms, bottom-line positions. (ARL Bimonthly Report 235) August 2004.
The AGORA site provides access to over 400 journals from major scientific publishers in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. AGORA is available to students and researchers in qualifying not-for-profit institutions in eligible developing countries.
The focus is on cost, not on mathematical quality, and the survey does not differentiate between general and specialty journals.
This report provides a comprehensive analysis of an industry that generates some 22 billion annually. Most research findings are published in journals, generally run either by commercial publishers or learned societies. The growth of the web has created new opportunities for the dissemination of scientific information, but although scientific information is made available on the web, its use is restricted by the access policies of publishers.
Linda Cicero writes "The Faculty Senate approved a resolution that encourages faculty and University libraries to support 'affordable' scholarly journals. It calls on the libraries to refuse bundled subscription plans and to scrutinize the pricing of for-profit journals in general, and 'those published by Elsevier in particular.' Finally, the four-part resolution encourages senior faculty to stop writing for or reviewing articles in journals that 'engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing.' Some senior faculty have already taken action on their own. Falkow, a former president of the 40,000-member American Society for Microbiology, stopped reviewing articles for a journal that was acquired by Elsevier four years ago. 'Their response [was] to imply that I am senile!' he told the Faculty Senate. Donald Knuth, a professor emeritus of computer science, says he and the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms voted to resign from that Elsevier publication because 'we came to the unanimous conclusion that it was wrong to continue the way we were going.' He will help launch a new scholarly journal, ACM Transactions on Algorithms, within the next few months." (Stanford Magazine June 2004).
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