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Re: When is a Journal a Journal (Was Biomed Aggregators)

I would like to comment on just the sentences quoted 

Anthony W Ferguson wrote:
> Are we in the information business or the journal
> collecting business.  I suggest that when the collecting of journals
> gets in the way of collecting information, we need to reevaluate our
> collecting practices.

The scholarly publication that it is our mission to support still takes
place largely--and in the sciences almost exclusively--in journals as they
are currently constituted.  Very many of us think this system has major
defects, cost being only one of them, and advocate efforts to develop more
effective communication modes. 

How far do we support the current system in the meantime? Do we try to
find the money to participate in all schemes from the commercial
publishers, however costly or however restrictive they are of our future
opprtunities?  Do we particpate in databases that extract what the
suppliers consider key parts of journals?  Do we subscribe to publishers'
electronic versions of journals that only offer portions of the items?  Or
do we conserve our funds and other resources for programs that offer the
full record under fair conditions at affordable prices? 

David Goodman,  Biology Librarian, Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235   fax: 609-258-2627

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