Tuesday, March 30, 2004

This blog ending 

Writing this blog has been a very productive enterprise for me, but the time has come for me to close things down. I recently accepted a solo librarian position, which won't have a whole lot to do with serials, and I won't have the time to keep up with things anyway (as you can tell by the absence of posts from the last month).

I hope that someone will decide to continue a blog specific to serials information. I think that this is a really good medium to pull together information from diverse arenas and present a sort of "one-stop shopping" environment for serialists.

Thanks for the opportunity!


Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Updates to NASIG Conference web site 

Information about Preconferences, Programs and Tours have been posted on the web site for the NASIG 2004 Conference in Milwaukee, WI. It sounds like it will be an interesting and productive conference.

Monday, February 09, 2004

More on exchanges, etc. 

As an addendum to the information on the new serials gift and exchange discussion list, I later became aware of this site, Back Issue & Exchange Services, which is part of Birdie MacLennan's Serials in Cyberspace.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Maps and area codes 

If I'm not careful, I'll end up spending hours poring over the nationalatlas.gov web site. Maps are just too fascinating for their own good, and not only can you look at various maps on this site, but you can also create your own maps! How can you not be excited?

Take a peek at the North American Numbering Plan Administration's (NANPA) database of U.S. area codes . NANPA manages the area codes. Find out more about NANPA on their home page.

Seen at Resource Shelf

OpenURL Standard released for review by NISO 

The NISO stanadard Z39.88-200x "OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services" is currently being voted on (until March 10).

The abstract from the NISO website states:

"The proposed OpenURL standard is syntax to create web-transportable packages of metadata and/or identifiers about an information object. Such packages are at the core of context-sensitive or open link technology, which has recently become available in scholarly information systems. By standardizing the syntax, we will enable many other innovative user-specific services in this and other information fields."

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

New gift & exchange list 

A new gift and exchange discussion list, called GIFTEXCH, has been created at the University of

To sign up to the new list, please:

1. send an email to: giftexch-request@umich.edu
2. leave the subject line blank
3. in the body of message, type:
subscribe your first name and last name
(for example: subscribe Shixing Wen)

One of the issues I intend to discuss on the new list is the ethical issues related to library booksale. [They'll be discussing serials on this list, as well.] Anybody interested, please sign up.

Shixing Wen
Head of Exchange & Gift Section
University of Michigan Library

seen at SERIALST

Thursday, January 22, 2004

the latest article about the Reed Elsevier problem 

From the Wall Street Journal: Reed Elsevier Feels Resistance To Web Pricing

I found this paragraph really interesting:

"Reed declines to discuss negotiations with individual universities. But it says some complaints about its bundled service are unfair. "It's like having a yearly magazine subscription, not liking the October issue and then saying, 'We want a refund,' " says Elsevier Science spokesman Eric Merkel-Sobotta."

I think this comparison is a little off. Granted, I don't currently manage a budget or actively purchase serials, but my understanding of the bundling process is a bit different than this man's. I don't think not wanting an entire title is really all that similar to talking about one issue of a title. Especially when you're talking about a comparison of thousands of dollars!

While ultimately, bundling electronic serials titles into packages does make the life of the individual library a bit easier in some ways, we should still be allowed a choice, especially if it better serves the purposes of our patrons. This is part of a disturbing trend that I've noticed in society at large over the past few years: the customer is not always right, and isn't even allowed a say in the situation without being called unreasonable, glared at, or generally patronized. With "unbundling", the company still makes money, and the library saves some money. What about this doesn't sound reasonable?

link seen at Resource Shelf

In the world of Open Access this week 

**A new issue of Open Access Now

**Presentations from the ALA Midwinter 2004: SPARC/ACRL Forum

**ALA, SPARC, ARL, AAHL, ACRL, and MLA ask Elias Zerhouni, the Director of the National Institute of Health, to support open access publishing. From the letter, "It is our belief that a growing knowledge economy depends as much, if not more, on the knowledge distribution power of the system as on its knowledge production power. Hence, it is essential to provide cost-effective access to and dissemination of scientific information in support of research and its economic and social applications. But the subscription-based journal model currently prevalent no longer maximizes access to research material. Nor is it economically sustainable."

seen at Resource Shelf

Monday, January 19, 2004

Two interesting articles from the latest D-Lib Magazine 

Library Periodical Expenses, Roger C. Schonfeld, et. al.

"What are the implications of the transition to electronic periodicals on non-subscription library expenditures, such as those required to select, accession, catalog, and provide ongoing access and services? New data on staff activities and costs were collected from eleven US academic libraries, and a life-cycle analysis was utilized to study the longer-term cost implications of the transition. We find that, on a per-title basis, the non-subscription costs of the electronic format are consistently and substantially lower than those of the print format. We conclude by considering the implications of the transition to electronic formats—and the consequent favorable cost differentials—on long-term preservation."

The Cost per Article Reading of Open Access Articles, Jonas Holmström.

"The measure for calculating cost per reading (CPR) of journal articles is reviewed, and a way to adapt this measure to articles in open access journals is proposed. The traditional subscription based publishing model is compared with the open access model, and similarities are identified and used when calculating CPR for the two different types of publishing. Challenges with interpreting statistics are discussed as well as the difficulty of estimating the number of readings from the number of downloaded articles. Finally, the potential use and implications of the CPR measure for open access publishers and institutions are discussed."

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