Re: Information Exchange Groups (IEGs)

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 23:12:53 -0500

on Tue, 30 Jan 2001 Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 06:42:26PM -0500, Albert Henderson wrote:
> > It is not surprising that administrators perceive science editors
> > as motivated by selfish or commercial interests. As if reading a
> > Rorschach inkblot, they reveal their own miserable outlook.
> Here is the chain of command above the math department at UC Davis:
> 1. Dean Peter Rock
> 2. Vice Provost Barry Klein
> 3. Provost Robert Grey
> 4. Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef
> I would like to know which of these people have the reprehensible
> anti-journal bias that you say they have. Because as far as I know, they
> are the biggest allies of traditional journal editors at my university.

        I suspect that these people could pat your back with
        one hand and pick your pocket with the other.

        Perhaps these people could explain why they capped UC-Davis
        library spending for the last 30 years while the number
        of research articles published increased FOUR-fold? In
        constant dollars, the high point of UC Davis library spending
        was in 1988. In 1999 it is only a few points above its 1970

        The economic imbalance between R&D growth and the ruthless
        choking of libraries forced journal prices up and decimated
        once excellent collections. It also created backlogs whenever
        editors accept papers that cannot be produced within
        restrictive financial budgets. (Some publishers can boldly
        raise prices to accommodate production inflation; others can't.)
        Statistics compiled by the American Mathematical Society
        indicate the total number of published pages increased 25
        percent between 1994 and 1997. The number of titles increased
        seven percent. (NOTICES 1995, 1998) Journals in mathematics
        suffer backlogs so great that the AMS's official ethics make
        it a moral imperative for editors to advise authors of delays.
        The minimum wait for publication of mss. received in final form
        increased 33 percent according to these compilations while the
        maximum wait increased from 35 to 57 months.

        Perhaps your managers will explain their 30-year fantasy
        that electronics would eliminate library costs and justify
        their preemptive cutbacks in library spending. Although unreviewed
        preprints are electronic in nature I don't see how they could
        contribute as much to a solution of the researchers' problem as
        would library spending that kept up with research outputs and
        encouraged journals to speed up their part of the dissemination

        Best wishes,

Albert Henderson

Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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