5.0822 Aqueduct Action Agenda for Serials Problems (1/126)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 14 Apr 1992 20:52:59 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0822. Tuesday, 14 Apr 1992.

Date: Mon, 06 Apr 92 20:10:10 EDT
From: Christian Boissonnas <CBY@CORNELLC>
Subject: [Aqueduct Agenda for Serials Problem]

Printed below is the action agenda formulated at a February retreat by
nineteen librarians concerned with serials pricing and access. It is
the subject of an article in the April 8 CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
(pp. 33-34). Because the article does not give the entire agenda, we
want to make it available quickly to interested persons and groups.



From February 7-9, 1992, nineteen serials, acquisitions, and
collection development librarians met in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
for a retreat at the Aqueduct Conference Center. They discussed pres-
sing issues in regard to serials acquisition and scholarly communica-
tion. Participants in the retreat came from ten states and the Dis-
trict of Columbia.

After fifteen hours of intense discussion on five topics
(strategies for counteracting high prices, the library's role in docu-
ment delivery, library treatment of electronic journals, serials can-
cellation projects, and copyright), the retreat participants developed
the following action agenda. The points are directed to individual
librarians and their libraries, and to library organizations. The
issues must be addressed at a grassroots level, as well as by organi-


The Aqueduct participants urge all librarians to discuss,
adopt, and promulgate the points in this Action Agenda.

1) Examine carefully all of the implications and ramifications of the
access versus ownership debate. Access and ownership are both critical
library functions. While access has many advantages, a critical mass
of library ownership must be maintained as ownership is the ultimate
form of access.

2) Article delivery services using research libraries' journal col-
lections are becoming highly effective. If libraries are to maintain a
competitive role in information and article delivery they must enhance
technical and human resources to speed and improve interlibrary ac-
cess. Likewise, libraries relying on article delivery from other li-
braries must accept the costs incurred by the supplying library in
providing access.

3) Standards, strategies, costs, and responsibilities for archiving
electronic journals are uncertain. Librarians should respond to this
opportunity by working with publishers and computer centers to create
standards and cost-effective strategies, and to determine libraries'
role in storing, accessing, and archiving electronic journals.

4) Donald Koepp, Director of Libraries at Princeton University, tar-
getted Pergamon Press journals for cancellation because of inordinate-
ly high price increases on top of already high prices. His action is
an example of focused cancellations intended to send a message to
publishers. Librarians should share the Koepp letter with library
users and pursue additional measures of focusing attention on the
expensive prices of some publishers.

5) In selection and cancellation decisions, openly acknowledge jour-
nal price and price history as significant criteria.

6) Notify journal editors and publishers directly of reasons for
cancelling journal titles.

7) Share cancellation lists and criteria for cancellation within a
consortium or region in order to promote cooperative collection devel-

8) Research articles produced by federal employees as a consequence
of their employment are exempt from copyright. Likewise, librarians
and library organizations should seek regulations which prohibit copy-
right of written reports of all publicly funded research.

9) Encourage authors to retain the rights to their written work for
their own use, for teaching, and for use by their libraries and insti-

10) Engage library users in a continuing dialog about the issues
associated with serials pricing. Among these issues is the wide dis-
parity between individual and institutional prices. Devise strategies
for identifying excessive institutional journal prices and seek user
support in eliminating these journals from our collections.

11) Encourage authors and editors to consider price-competetive pub-
lishers for dissemination of their research.

12) Inform subscription agents that firm prices must be distinguished
from preliminary prices on all invoices. Further, inform vendors that
additional billings will not be accepted on titles where previous
billings indicated firm prices.

13) Analyze subscription invoices carefully and verify the accuracy of
vendor service charges.

14) The Aqueduct group will compile and produce a benchmark list of
100 journal titles for comparison of prices paid to various subscrip-
tion agents and directly to the publishers.


Astle, Deana - Clemson University
Boissonnas, Christian - Cornell University
Crump, Michele - University of Florida
Early, Caroline - National Agricultural Library
Farkas, Doina - University of Florida
Freeman, Suzanne - Virginia Commonwealth University
Hamaker, Chuck - Louisiana State University
Hepfer, Cindy - SUNY - Buffalo Health Sciences Center
Ivins, October - Louisiana State University
Jones, Danny - University of Texas Health Science Center at
San Antonio
Lonberger, Jana - Georgia Tech
McLaren, Mary - University of Kentucky
Martin, Sylvia - Vanderbilt University
Mouw, Jim - University of Chicago
Murden, Steve - Virginia Commonwealth University
O'Neill, Ann - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School
of Information/Library Science
Okerson, Ann - Association of Research Libraries
Robnett, Bill - Vanderbilt University
Tuttle, Marcia - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill