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RE: Bioline International Call for Support

While I admire any attempt to open the literature to all readers, 
this proposal raises two questions:

1. Should we be supporting regional publications as opposed to 
encouraging all manuscripts to pass through the existing 
"international" peer review boards?

2. Is this the right time to to start new niche journals, which 
compete with our present journals?

Librarians constantly attempt to prioritize journal content based 
upon relative quality.  We simply cannot afford to buy all the 
quality material that is published.  One way is to have all 
authors compete for the top peer review boards (reflected by the 
top journals). Adding additional layers of peer review boards 
with special interests may make this evaluation much more 
difficult, and in some ways may disenfranchise authors who 
publish in regional publications.

If we are to create niche journals, shouldn't they be based upon 
disciplines -- where we can more easily create less expensive and 
targeted titles for those unable to afford the larger and often 
more expensive prestige cross-subject journals?  Regional focus 
seems more difficult to justify, as the interdisciplinary nature 
makes it more difficult to support based upon specific subject 
priorities.  (Unless of course you are supporting specific 
geographical research, which we do, but which is already covered 
in quality international journals.)

We have seen the proliferration of regional journals in the past 
few years: Central European Journal of ..., Russian Journal of 
..., now this package.  In the long run, using evidence-based 
practices, how are we to justify reducing support for our highest 
use subject journals in order to support these titles (unless 
they have earned high use ratings)?

Like it or not, we are being forced to raid our subscriptions and 
move toward on-demand document delivery for more of our user 
needs. Perhaps these regional titles will also need to reconsider 
the subscription approach and move toward the unbundled approach 
for survival.

Just some thoughts as budgets get tighter and we need to 
reconsider any subscription support ideas.

David Stern
Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources
Brown University
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
Providence, RI 02912

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of lesliechan@rogers.com
Sent: Wed 11/19/2008 10:29 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Bioline International Call for Support
Bioline International launches
International Membership & Sponsorship drive

November, 2008.

Currently, the world's research knowledge base is incomplete.
Research carried out in the developing world is little known and

A joint initiative between the Centre for Environmental Research 
Information in Brazil and the University of Toronto Scarborough, 
Bioline International has as its main goal the global exchange of 
essential research information published in developing countries, 
thereby improving the South to North and South to South flow of 
research knowledge. To this end, it is launching a major drive 
towards sustainability by inviting international Membership and 
Sponsorship by organizations and individuals supporting its aims.

Bioline currently provides access to 70 journals from 15 
countries published in the developing world. Subject areas focus 
on issues of global importance, including medical research, 
emerging infectious diseases, global public health, climate 
change, food security and biodiversity. In 2007, a further 70 new 
journals applied to join Bioline International in order to take 
advantage of open access to their publications. These publishers 
have taken note of the greatly increased usage of existing 
journals on the system -- 3.5 million full text downloads were 
recorded in 2007.

In order to meet this high demand for Bioline's services, Bioline 
must now establish a long-term, sustainable funding model which 
includes support from the worldwide community. " Too often we 
think of scientific knowledge and the developing countries in 
terms of what 'we' can do for 'them', " says Lynn Copeland, Dean 
of Library Services and University Librarian, Simon Fraser 
University Library, Canada. "We need to nurture the organizations 
and initiatives that challenge this limiting point of view, 
enriching the international scholarly community with important 
research and neglected perspectives from the developing world."

By participating in the new Bioline Membership and Sponsorship 
program, libraries and research organizations can express their 
support for the publication of open access journals, ensure 
continued access to valuable and unique content, and help bring 
new titles to the Bioline International website. As no charges 
are made to publishers, all fees and donations are used directly 
to support the website and document enhancement costs.

Institutional membership fees are set at the modest level of 
$500/year to enable widespread support.  Foundation and special 
sponsorship fees may be negotiated on an individual basis.

For more information about the Membership and Sponsorship drive, 
to learn more about Bioline, or to see which organizations have 
already committed to support Bioline, please visit the Bioline 
International website:  http://www.bioline.org.br/

Contact: Leslie Chan, Director, Bioline International