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Re: high priced journals


This is of course an extension of our Charleston debate -- but --you can't
measure use without owning the item.  As package owners know, things you
didn't own -- are used.  Moreover, the issue is cross title and cross
publisher linking.  The library that allows the most linking is the best
library.  Tony

Anthony W. Ferguson
Associate University Librarian
514 Butler
Columbia University Libraries MC1103
535 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10027   
Tel. 212-854-7401
Fax. 212-854-9099 (new fax number!!!!!!!!!!!)
Net: ferguson@Columbia.edu


On Thu, 4 Jan 2001, David Goodman wrote:

> Note carefully the caveat, properly included by Dan, that this measures
> only research use of titles by the faculty. It grossly underestimates the
> use of review titles, undergraduate-interest titles, and so on. At at many
> research oriented universities, the research done by the graduate students
> and post docs is as important as that done by the faculty--and not all
> faculty automatically add their names to their students' papers.
> Some libraries are, of course, able to measure actual physical use. In the
> absence of that, citation data is an acceptable surrogate if you keep the
> limitations in mind.
> Of course, many expensive research titles are used, but not cited. To take
> an example, we spend very much more than $10,000 for Web of Science
> (=Science citation Index), but not one person here has ever cited it.
> Note also that Dan is speaking about a single field. It is not possible to
> use this method validly across different subject fields. For example, I
> collect for a dept of Ecology and a dept of Molecular biology, and the
> citation density is very different. The unthinking use of this formula
> would lead to my dropping all the ecology journals almost without
> exception. This technique is not of help in balancing expenditures between
> fields.
> On the other hand, ignoring actual use and actual citations produces very
> poor quality collections. A selector who does not select on the basis of
> use will probably do as well by selecting by throwing darts at a list of
> titles. A selector who selects on the basis of faculty opinion-- rather
> than actual use-- will have a collection that reflects the previous
> generation's use.
> There was a time, though, when major research libraries could purchase not
> just the titles needed by the current users, but those titles of potential
> use in the future. Although I was not biology librarian here then, I can
> tell from our holdings that we were still doing this in biology during the
> 60s very thoroughly across a very wide field. Since then we have
> progressively been cutting back, and I have now reached the point where I
> no longer fully support all current research from our own university's
> holdings.
> David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library				
> dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235