Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Fall 1997

Conference Reports

American Chemical Society
Division of Chemical Education

Notes from the Fall Meeting, September 1997, Las Vegas, Nevada

Gayle S. Baker
University Libraries
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"Confronting the Library Funding Crisis of the '90s at Undergraduate Institutions" was the title of one of the symposia which met September 7-8, 1997 in Las Vegas. There were several interesting papers:
Academic chemistry serial collections: An overview of national trends, 1992-1994
Tina E. Chrzastowski, University of Illinois.
The author analyzed subscription data, provided by Faxon, for domestic publications subscribed to by 10 ARL libraries. She concluded that all non-core domestic titles are at risk for cancellation and that libraries are choosing to buy the same core titles.

Journal usage studies: Essential for collection management
Howard M. Dess, Rutgers University.
The author presented a technique to identify journal use using the SciSearch database on the STN online system. He selected publications by Rutgers faculty for 1992-1994. Then he used the SmartSelect function (an STN feature) to extract data on cited journal titles. He then sorted them in rank order and produced a list of the most cited journals. The cost was moderate in comparison to the effort that it would take to perform this manually.

Economics of scientific publishing
L. R. Garson, American Chemical Society Publications
In this paper, the author reviewed the characteristics of Science/Technology/Medical publications. Among the reasons for subscriptions price increases are the increasing number of papers being published and papers' increasing length. Despite the improvements in productivity, the costs are proportional to the amount published. He predicted that the costs for print publications will rise as print runs decline in the transition from print to electronic publishing. However, electronic publishing will not be significantly less expensive, having 80+% of the print costs. Mr. Garson predicted "just-in-time" rather than "just-in-case" purchases of articles and publications.

Print, electronic, and consortial access: Challenges and directions
Carol A. Drum, University of Florida et al.
The author focused mainly on access to electronic information at the University of Florida. The university has used consortial agreements, both state-wide and among the state research institutions, to provide more access to electronic information. Sometimes state laws have hampered negotiations on license agreements. Library staff are training and retraining for new technologies. Users are more mobile and may not be on campus. The campus computing infrastructure has continual upgrading of equipment.

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