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November 30, 2006

Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research: Inaugural Issue

.: The first issue of Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research is now available for viewing:

The electronic journal is a practitioner’s journal of The Partnership published twice a year. Articles may be contributed at any time for publication consideration. Potential articles are reviewed by members of an editorial review committee. Articles fall into several categories. Feature articles on theory & research and on innovations in practice are in-depth, peer-reviewed articles and fall in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 words. Other types of articles include viewpoints, conference presentations, profiles, news& announcements, professional development and reviews.
The first issue of Partnership includes articles under the headings of Innovations in Practice, Theory and Research, Conference Spotlight, Professional Development, Profiles, Viewpoints, and News and Announcements. Congratulations to editor Jennifer Richard and the Editorial Team on the publication of v1 n1 (2006) of Partnership!

November 20, 2006

Wiley and Blackwell - Commentary by Dana Roth

I always hope for the best but it has been my experience that many of Wiley's policies and pricing decisions appear to be detrimental to libraries. The recent article by the Bergstrom & Bergstrom, while discussing commercial publishers in general, very aptly describes what seems to be Wiley's business model ...

"Over the past decade, scientific publishing has shifted from a paper-based distribution system to one largely built upon electronic access to journal articles. Despite this shift, the basic patterns of journal pricing have remained largely unchanged. The large commercial publishers charge dramatically higher prices to institutions than do professional societies and university presses. These price differences do not reflect differences in quality as measured by citation rate."


Two of the best examples of this are:

Inorganica Chimica Acta (Elsevier) has a 2005 price per page of $1.88 ($8633/4588), an ISI Impact Factor of 1.61 and a p/p/IF of 1.17. Inorganic Chemistry (ACS) has a 2005 price per page of $0.26 ($2604/9977), an ISI Impact Factor of 3.85 and a p/p/IF of 0.07.

Thus, Inorganica Chimica Acta is 7 times more expensive per page ($1.88/$0.26) and is nearly 17 times (1.17/0.07) less cost-effective than Inorganic Chemistry.

Biopolymers/Peptide Science (Wiley) has a 2005 price/page of $3.70 ($6995/1893), an ISI Impact Factor of 2.55 and a p/p/IF of 1.45. Biomacromolecules (ACS) has a 2005 price/page of $0.26 ($905/3485), an ISI Impact Factor of 3.62 and a p/p/IF of 0.07.

Thus, Biopolymers/Peptide Science is 14 times more expensive per page ($3.70/$0.26) and is nearly 21 times (1.45/.07) less cost-effective than Biomacromolecules.

Henry Barschall (Physics Today, July 1998, p.56) defined the ratio of the price/printed character to the frequency with which articles in the journal are cited as the best indicator of a journal's cost-effectiveness. I have modified this slightly to the more easily determined ratio of the price/page to the ISI Impact Factor. Thus, in the examples above, the smaller the ratio the greater the journal's cost-effectiveness.

I think you will agree that these disparities can not continue indefinitely. It is sad but true that many of the very expensive journals are in a death spiral of cancellations, and are only surviving because of a few institutional subscriptions. Their excessive subscription cost not only penalizes the remaining subscribing libraries, which could be using these funds for other publications or services, but also insures that these articles will be largely unavailable to their target audience.

Wiley to Acquire Blackwell Publishing (Holdings) Ltd.

.: From the press release:

Hoboken, N.J. and Oxford U.K., November 17, 2006— John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Blackwell Publishing (Holdings) Ltd., one of the world's foremost academic and professional publishers. The purchase price of £572 million will be financed with a combination of debt and cash. The transaction will be implemented through a U.K. Scheme of Arrangement. Wiley has received irrevocable commitments from the principal shareholders of Blackwell Publishing to sell their shares to Wiley. The companies anticipate that the transaction will close early in 2007.

Based in Oxford, Blackwell Publishing's revenue in 2005 was approximately £210 million, or $380 million, which is about the same as Wiley's global Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) business. Blackwell's publishing programs include journals, books and online content in the sciences, technology, medicine, the social sciences and humanities. Blackwell Ltd., the book library service and retailing business, is a separate entity and is not part of the acquisition.

"The combination of Blackwell Publishing and Wiley, two of the world's most respected global publishers, is a rare opportunity with highly favorable, long-term strategic implications," said William J. Pesce, Wiley's President & Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward, with genuine enthusiasm, to collaborating with our new colleagues at Blackwell Publishing. Together, we will deliver even greater value than we could as separate entities to all stakeholders — our customers, authors, society partners and shareholders. The combined business will publish approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. This deep reservoir of must-have content will be delivered to customers in print and electronically, advancing our goal of providing more access to more content to more people than ever before in the history of the two companies."

Rene Olivieri, CEO of Blackwell Publishing (Holdings) Ltd., added, "Combining Blackwell and Wiley, with our complementary strengths, presents a unique opportunity to create a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Furthermore, there is outstanding cultural compatibility between our two firms that will not only smooth a successful transition to a single business, but also provide a platform for enhanced capabilities for the publishing partners and customers of the combined companies."

Nigel Blackwell, Chairman of Blackwell Publishing (Holdings) Ltd., said, "Wiley and Blackwell are two great firms sharing the same cultural values, and in particular, a common publishing ethic. Marrying them together makes perfect sense both commercially and for the benefit of the global academic and professional community."

November 16, 2006

UCLA Student Gets Tasered Repeatedly For Failing to Show ID in Powell Library CLICC Computer Lab

.: This is incredibly disturbing on so many levels. Details are available from The Daily Bruin, UCLA newspaper. The video is very loud, with screaming and profanity, so you might want to use headphones to watch it. The Daily Bruin also reported on the community response to the taser incident.

17 Nov 2006 addendum. These articles are from the 17 November 2006 issue of The Daily Bruin:

November 13, 2006

Biomicrofluidics — AIP's First Open Access journal

Biomicrofluidics is the first Open Access journal published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The online-only journal provides an interdisciplinary, rapid-publication environment for the dissemination of research from diverse fields, including engineering, physics, materials science, chemistry, and biology. From the press release:

Organized into four issues per year, Biomicrofluidics will publish each article online in final citable form as soon as it is available. The journal will cover topics such as DNA and molecular manipulation, microfluidics and nanofluidics, wetting and nano-rheology, drop and digitated platform, electrokinetics and magneto-hydrodynamics, pathogen and molecular concentration, and separation and sorting devices.

Biomicrofluidics -- Fulltext v1+ (2007+); ISSN: 1932-1058.

November 10, 2006

GlobalSpec Launches Online Peer-to-Peer Community for Industrial Professionals

.: As href="http://www.knowledgespeak.com/newsArchieveviewdtl.asp?pickUpID=3074&pickUpBatch=504#3074">reported in today's KnowledgeSpeak, GlobalSpec has launched its new online community for industry engineers, CR4SM – The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion. CR4 means Conference Room 4; I don't know what the first three conference rooms might be. From the press release:

TROY, NY - (BUSINESS WIRE)- 11/8/06 – GlobalSpec (www.globalspec.com), the leading specialized search engine, information resource and e-publishing company for engineering, industrial and technical professionals, today announced the launch of its online community, CR4SM – The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion. Located at cr4.globalspec.com, the site provides a collaborative environment for engineers, scientists, technical researchers and related professionals.

CR4 offers visitors access to open, industry-based forums where they can discuss important engineering issues and seek out answers to technical questions. Additionally, the site contains blogs from industry professionals, tracking news, trends and technological advancements. Registration is offered at no cost and users are invited to participate in the forums and blog discussions.

The CR4 community is comprised of active users who contribute questions, answers, stories and discussions in fields ranging from current science and technology news, to major engineering disciplines including electrical, mechanical, optical and civil.

The newly redesigned CR4 makes it easier for users to register, post articles, ask questions, and obtain information tailored to their specific interests. Among the unique functionality is the ability for users to post images, which in conjunction with the symbols editor function, can be used to post mathematical formulas when posing questions and participating in discussions.

Users can also subscribe to the Daily Digest, a daily e-mail summary of current stories and posts on CR4, allowing them to easily stay up-to-date.

"The features and functionality now available to CR4 users further position GlobalSpec as 'the place' for the engineering, industrial and technical community," said Guy Maser, senior vice president of marketing for GlobalSpec, Inc. "With the variety of blogs and discussions tailored to different industry interests, CR4 is a unique destination for professionals who are looking to ask questions and discuss issues of importance to them."

November 7, 2006

Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources

.: Jimmy Atkinson of OEDb, the Online Education Database, send me a note about a recent post, "Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources". Jimmy writes: "I feel that it is a helpful starting point for anyone -- librarian, professor, or student -- wanting to do accurate research on the Web without relying solely on Google (or the visible Web).", and I would agree. The review covers search engines in these categories: Deep Web Search Engines | Art | Books Online | Business | Consumer | Economic and Job Data | Finance and Investing | General Research | Government Data | International | Law and Politics | Library of Congress | Medical and Health | Science | Transportation. You will find some search engines with which you are familiar, but no doubt discover some new to you as well.

Thanks, Jimmy, for this information.