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Bob Cox writes "From The Baltimore Sun.
As you look at the cover of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), you might feel - just for a moment - like you're peeking through the window of a museum of fine art.
"I consider that the heart of JAMA," Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, the editor, said of the artwork adorning its covers.
That might sound odd, given that JAMA brings its nearly 600,000 subscribers some of the world's most current and most promising research on topics ranging from hormone replacement therapy to the development of a cancer vaccine.
But the art - along with a one-page essay about the work, the artist and the era in which it was created - is designed to put physicians in touch with the part of their practice that has nothing to do with scalpels or CT scans."
Anonymous Patron writes "This newspaper/tabloid by and about farmers has been published out of an old farmhouse in Lakeville, Minnesota, for the last 27 years; back issues are kept in the garage. Look there for articles like "Combine to Snowblower: It's Not That Hard to Do" and "Farm Couple Builds Pentagon Outhouse" and "He Shot His Well."A very entertaining article about it appeared in Sunday's Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Here."
The Harvard University Gazette reports on cuts to Elsevier journals at Harvard. According to Sidney Verba, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the University Library, the decision to eliminate these journals was the result of 15 months of careful consideration. "It was driven not only by current financial realities," Verba states, "but also - and perhaps more importantly - by the need to reassert control over our collections and to encourage new models for research publication at Harvard." Similar steps have been taken at other major research institutions, including Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the Triangle Research Libraries Network.
nbruce writes "A survey of popular magazinesâ€™ nutrition articles shows some improvement in accuracy after 20 years of tracking this information, according to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). The
survey, which covered magazines published in 2000, 2001, and 2002, ranked 16 of 20 magazines as "good" sources of nutrition information, two magazines were rated "fair," and two earned a rating of "poor." Magazines aimed at men are still more likely to be rated fair or poor. Although the overall quality of articles improved, for the first time, no magazine was rated â€œexcellentâ€? in nutrition information.
The percentage of readers who reported getting nutrition information from magazines substantially increased from the last survey. You can either download the survey, or purchase it in hard copy."
Rumor has it the editorial board of Elsevier's Journal of Algorithms has stepped down due to "the prices being charged by commercial publishers of scientific journals."
In October Professor Don Knuth wrote a fantastic long letter to the editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms, explaining the current state of affairs. He has it on his web site (Look for "Crisis in Scientific Publishing") with hopes that it will be helpful to anybody else who is trying to deal with this serious problem.
note: if this was just rumor I wouldn't post it, but I've not been able to find an "official announcement" yet, I was told to watch SIGACT News for the final word.
Norma sent over This Transcript of Colloquy Live about open access at Chronicle of Higher Education web site. Interview with Peter Suber of Earlham College.
After hundreds of years in which scientific publishers have based their business models on charging subscribers, could a fundamental change be just around the corner in this $3.5-billion-a-year industry? If so, how will the new journals affect researchers, librarians, and publishers?
Walt writes "Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 4:3 (February 2004) is now available
The 22-page issue (PDF) includes:
* Bibs & Blather: An ALA Question (have you been told that an open meeting was closed?), brief Midwinter items
* Trends & Quick Takes: Who makes the fastest PC, PC reliability, and quick takes on a variety of topics
* Feedback: Your Insights [3+ pages!]
* Perspective: The Way We're Wired
* PC Progress, July 2003-January 2004
* A Copyright Perspective: Compulsory Licensing
* The Library Stuff: eight items
* Interesting & Pecular Products: 14 in all"
A study reported in January's D-Lib Magazine finds that the auxiliary "costs of the electronic format are consistently and substantially lower than those of the print format." Each of the eleven academic libraries in the study calculated a lower total life-cycle maintenance cost for electronic serial titles - the print versions on average cost over four times more. The price savings of e-journals was covered previously.
gayle writes points us to this week's "Intelligencer" (New York magazine) column:
Two New Yorker staffers drove a sixteen-foot Ryder truck with two issues of every New Yorker (founded 1925) from 4 Times Square to Kansas. The truck, which was supposed to transport the magazineâ€™s library index cards, too, was allegedly going to be insured for a whopping $11 million. The price was, however, reduced substantially when the cards were axed. The purpose of the trip was to get the magazine digitally archived. And the drivers, Matt Dellinger (Website manager) and Willing Davidson (fiction department) were a tad anxious about the precious cargo.