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Re: Nature Journals: Versioning Vicissitudes

Apparently what I wrote was apparently worded so poorly that it could be
easily misunderstood.

I meant only that the first part is of even greater value than the
excellent and very valuable second part. And I meant that no one would
subscribe to the 2nd part only if they had the choice of getting both. I
base that on my observations of readers--that's they part everyone looks
at first, then looking at selected articles in the second part. I do not
know the entire population of readers, and others may and apparently do
read otherwise.

Yes, the two parts could survive very well as separate publications. The
rationale for their being together is that there is a place for a special
journal containing the highest quality articles in all fields. That this
should also be accompanied by very high quality comment makes sense too,
as the same people want that as well.  Since the audience is so large, it
makes sense that there is a place for more than one such journal; Science
is also of very high quality in both respects. As Antony points out,
commentary is the sort of material which is not unique in the same way
that research articles are. (I also think highly of much of the commentary
in The Scientist).

But we are discussing one of the very best scientific publications in the
world, with a very wide readership, all parts of which are excellent. Yet
it is apparently so fearful of its survival that it is putting barriers in
the way of its readers to maintain its subscription list. If Nature cannot
succeed as a printed and electronic journal, what hope is there for the
rest? I think Nature (and Science) can survive and do very well as a
printed and electronic journal, selling at a fair price with access by all
subscribers to all parts. I think other journals can also (how many is
another matter).

David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library				
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235


On Sun, 1 Oct 2000, Anthony Watkinson wrote:

> I am puzzled by David Goodman's first contention which is that the second
> part of Nature, the research papers, has no/not much value and that there
> would be zero subscribers for this content on its own at half the current
> price. Nature is a strange amalgam of a research journal in a limited
> number of fields and a news and comment magazine for the science
> community. There is no reason why it should exist in this form except
> history. The research material is cutting edge and the scientists in the
> fields it covers want to publish in it and other scientists want to read
> what is written in it. Would they not expect their libraries to pay for
> it? I cannot see that the news and comment is "essential". I personally
> prefer Science to keep in touch.
> Anthony Watkinson
> 14, Park Street, Bladon, Woodstock,
> Oxon, England OX20 1RW
> phone +44 1993 811561 and fax 1993  810067
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Goodman <dgoodman@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
> To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
> Sent: Friday, September 29, 2000 7:46 PM
> Subject: Re: Nature Journals: Versioning Vicissitudes
> > To clarify two important points:
> >
> > 1. The "front of the book" matter in Nature is in their case every bit as
> > essential--if not more so--than the rest. If they were to publish a
> > printed edition without it at say half price, I think they would get
> > exactly zero subscribers, personal or institutional.
> >
> > 2. When a university purchases campus wide access to a journal for all its
> > students and faculty to a journal, what they are buying is the use of that
> > content for all academic purposes by all students enrolled in all courses.
> > For a professor to include links to that in material for a specific course
> > is not a special additional benefit, but is implied by the basic license.
> > We need not urge other publishers to follow the example--We have been
> > buying this all along. I suppose the provision is included in licenses to
> > avoid ambiguity, but a license which prohibited it would not be a site
> > license in the first place.
> >
> > This seems so patently obvious to me, that I would like to hear from any
> > publisher who disagrees. (I recognize that the situation for distance
> > learning may be more complicated.)
> >
> > David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library
> > dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235