Christina's LIS Rant

Quick takes

While I’m trying to get back on my blogging feet, here are some quick takes on things happening in library land:

  • The kerfuffle about the institutional subscription price of Scientific American continues. For those of you joining the discussion late, Nature Publishing Group is now integrating it into the Nature journals web site, offering a back file, and perpetual access to what you’ve purchased. Nothing will be pulled from Ebsco but I guess at some point new stuff won’t be added. Ok, that’s sounds fine, right? The only thing is that the institutional subscription price will go from $40 to $300 in one year. That is, in one year in which everyone is canceling lots of titles. Teri Vogel from UCSD pointed to this press release with updates. ARGH. So my take is that this generally makes business sense for Nature – they’re trying to fill in the spectrum from popular communication, news, to full journal on one platform. I’m sure the thing will be more usable. I’m not sure the price is even that out of whack – it’s just that this is NOT the right time for this. People don’t have that money. I guess Nature is hoping that the libraries will have to re-subscribe when their patrons see SciAm when they’re looking for Nature and want it?
  • On a happier note they’re gearing up for LISA VI coming up in Pune, India. LISA stands for Library and Information Services in Astronomy and it will be hosted by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Library and the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) Library in Pune, Maharashtra, India, from February 14 to 17, 2010. Find out more here.
  • Are you a library student? Then consider submitting a paper to the DTIC student paper competition. DTIC is the Defense (as in Department of…) Technical Information Center. They manage and provide access to science and technology information including technical reports for the DOD. They are looking for papers on any topic of interest to science and technology related to their mission. They’ll help you with travel expenses to their conference in March in Alexandria, VA. (note: I have been asked to be a reviewer for the papers so can’t help you with topics).
  • NTRS is finally back up! NTRS is the NASA Technical Report Server and they’d been down since the last week of September. Many of us were fretting because we rely on them for free (paid for by tax dollars) full text access to technical reports in all sorts of areas related to aerospace, propulsion, materials, astro…

Comments

  1. #1 Dorothea Salo
    October 8, 2009

    Interesting. Not content with having chewed up and spat out the monograph market, serials publishers are now turning on each other.

    This will end messily.

  2. #2 Bonnie
    October 9, 2009

    Institutional site licenses for Scientific American are also increasing to preposterous levels (More than three times the new print price for us!).

    We will continue to subscribe for now, but with a new round of budget cuts for the SUNY system, SciAm may be one of the things to go – especially with the amount of high quality science news available on the web (from a variety of sources)