December 13, 2005

Nature Archives Move Back to 1960

.: Today's Knowledgespeak announced that Nature has moved its archives back to 1960. Excerpt:

Nature Publishing Group (NPG), UK, has announced the addition of another decade of Nature issues to its online archive at This includes 53,069 articles from 522 issues published between January 1960 and December 1969. Nature is presently digitising archives back to 1950. The content is being released in instalments of 10 years until its completion in late 2006. Once completed, the Nature archive will contain nearly 154,500 articles from 2,399 issues.

November 13, 2005

Nature Podcasts

.: Not sure how I missed this one, but Nature is offering weekly podcasts since 5 October 2005. From the Nature site:

Welcome to the Nature Podcast. Each week we'll be publishing a free audio show, presented and produced by Chris Smith, a doctor, virology researcher and radio presenter from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Each show will feature highlights from that week's issue of Nature and interviews with the people behind the science, and journalists covering the research.

September 15, 2005

Question: Do We Need Another Nature Journal?

:: This week, Nature Publishing Group released its Nature Group Letter to Customers 2005. Within the letter was mention of the release of the forthcoming new journal, Nature Physics, which will make its debut in October 2005. The announcement was sent to the SLS-L discussion group, and is available on Nature's site.

Not one to mince words, Bob Michaelson of Northwestern U in Illinois fired back the following response:

Dear Annette Thomas:

Nature Publishing Group has, for the past several years, shown a disturbing indifference to the inability of libraries to pay for its newly launched commercial (and very high priced) products. Nature Publishing Group has shown a similar indifference to its customers difficulties in paying for site-wide online access to its many products, and in paying for its online archives.

At some point we, your customers, must simply say "enough", and I believe that that point has been reached with your ludicrous, disdainful decision to launch Nature Physics in October. Surely you know that there are plenty of well established journals in physics. Surely you know that physicists use the free depository arXiv as their primary source for physics information -- to such an extent that some long-established physics journals such as Nuclear Physics now have scarcely any readers (we know this because we have the online statistics), and many physicists say that "nobody reads the journals any longer". Clearly there is no need for a new commercially published physics journal -- and perhaps there will soon no longer be a need for many existing commercially-published physics journals -- but you insist on launching this title, at the "introductory" pricing (which will increase) of $1,500 in print, and an online site license at a price that you aren't even willing to list on your web site! (Your web site says that academic pricing is in "bands based on FTE figures" -- but in your patronizing way you don't allow us full information.)

I fondly hope that Nature Physics is a spectacular failure, as it well deserves to be.


Robert Michaelson
Seeley G. Mudd Library for Science and Engineering
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois 60208