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                             Free Pint
         "Helping 47,000 people use the Web for their work"
                     http://www.freepint.com/

ISSN 1460-7239                                 21st March 2002 No.108
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                           IN THIS ISSUE

                             EDITORIAL

                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                      From Cyndi Schoenbrun

                    FREE PINT BAR & STUDENT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery

                                JOBS
           Knowledge Manager, Library Manager, Researcher
                 Information Scientist, Researcher

                           TIPS ARTICLE
          "An introduction to the Netherlands on the web"
                          By Briget Lander

                             BOOKSHELF
               "The Information Professional's Guide
                   to Career Development Online"
                     Reviewed by Diana McAuley

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
   "Evolution or revolution: the future of scholarly publishing"
                          By Paul Harwood

               EVENTS, GOLD AND FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

             ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm>

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                      >>>  ABOUT FREE PINT  <<<

Free Pint is an online community of information researchers. Members
receive this free newsletter every two weeks packed with tips on
finding quality and reliable business information on the Internet.

Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and provides access to
the substantial archive of articles, book reviews, jobs, industry news
& events, with answers to your research questions and networking at
the Free Pint Bar. Please circulate this newsletter which is best
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To receive the Adobe Acrobat version as an attachment or a brief
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                             EDITORIAL

As you probably know, we do try hard at Free Pint to attend as many
information-related conferences as possible. This could be as invited
speakers, interested onlookers or members of the press. However, I've
felt for a long time that these events never make enough of the one
thing that makes them so valuable.

Take for instance this week's Internet Librarian conference in London
which I attended on Monday. At the end of the day I felt very
satisfied with how productive and worthwhile it had been. However,
this was nothing to do with the papers being presented or the
exhibition floor. It was all about the people I spent time talking to.

Some of the meetings were planned, some were impromptu. Some were at
the venue, some were in cafes nearby. They were all invaluable though,
from simply catching up with friends, to in-depth discussions about
the future of Free Pint and the information industry in general.

Although it was a productive day out of the office, the thing that
frustrates me is that I didn't meet anyone who I didn't already know.
Nearly all of the information conferences I've ever attended, be they
in the UK, US or wherever, never seem able to encourage like-minded
strangers to start networking with each other.

Sure, I appreciate the difficulties. It's not like conference
organisers can emulate the host at a small dinner party who knows
everyone and introduces people to each other with a quick mention of
their interests. It's tricky to get a few hundred conference
delegates to start playing silly games to break the ice.

I don't know how you encourage networking, but there must be a way.
There has to be. Why? Because conferences that only focus on the
papers being presented will not survive. Their real value is in
bringing people together, face-to-face. Doesn't the word 'conference'
actually mean people getting together to discuss things? It doesn't
mean the one way communication of papers being presented in a lecture
theatre with a tiny amount of time for questions.

Is it a problem of size? Perhaps one of privacy? What do you think?
Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it is a missed opportunity?

If you've been to a really good conference where networking was
successfully encouraged then please do tell us about it. I have posted
this Editorial at the Free Pint Bar and would like to hear your
thoughts and ideas. Please reply at <http://www.freepint.com/go/b16645>.

In today's newsletter we've packed in a regional article about Web
sites in the Netherlands, a look at the changing world of scholarly
publishing and the usual mix of tips and reviews.

Don't forget to pass this edition on to your colleagues, and do let
us know your ideas for getting the most out of conferences.

Best regards
William

             William Hann, Founder and Managing Editor
      Email: <william@freepint.com>   Tel: +44 (0)1784 420044
Free Pint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (c) 1997-2002

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                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                      From Cyndi Schoenbrun

* Access to UNESCO information sources
  <http://www.unesco.org/unesdi/index.php/eng/a/accueil.html>.

* Better Business Bureau Company Report Search (U.S.) for checking
  out a company <http://search.bbb.org/national/search.html>.

* KnowledgePlex (FannieMae) U.S. <http://www.knowledgeplex.org/>
  for information on Affordable Housing and Community Development.

* Trade Data Online provides the ability to generate customized
  reports on Canada and U.S. trade with over 200 countries
  <http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrkti/tdst/engdoc/tr_homep.html>.

* picsearch <http://www.picsearch.com/> is a search engine for
  pictures and images.

Cyndi Schoenbrun thrills in discovering useful and unusual web sites,
and thus has been granted the title "Serendipity Queen" by her
colleagues in the Information Center at Consumer Reports
<http://www.consumerreports.org>.

Email your top five favourite Web sites to <simon@freepint.com> or
see the guidelines at <http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>.

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                           FREE PINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                           
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery
          <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm#bar>


Free Pint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
-------------------------------------------

   [Note: To read a Bar posting enter the message number in place
    of XXXXX in the address http://www.freepint.com/go/bXXXXX ]

My, oh my, have we had a lot of postings about spam recently (16445,
16424). But it is a most annoying and distracting phenomenon.
Luckily, there are a number of simple measures you can take to
alleviate the problem somewhat. Do be careful, though, or you may
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There have also been a number of questions from Free Pinters carrying
out research in various areas and some have yet to be answered. These
include postings about UK National Grid research and development
(16388), vendors of mobile office applications (16379), South African
clothing brand names (16416), telecoms consumer behaviour (16402),
information job descriptions (16606) and the use of interactive
technologies in language learning (16526). Any help with these would
be greatly appreciated.

There were also research questions raised about UK private banking
(16471), staff attitude surveys (16383), a UK Department of
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the date for when a certain EU directive comes into effect (16488).

Business related queries have been posted about value added taxes in
the EU (16346), USA assisted living facilities (16442), resources for
SMEs (16409), selling and marketing costs in computer information
services (16443) and tracing a US company director (16572).

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Web resources have been recommended covering things such as finding
journals and articles (16553), subscribing to news feeds and digests
(16556), researching gambling on the Internet (16394), corporate
portal data (16376) and UK legal data (16512). In addition to these,
I reviewed a site to help with competitive intelligence research
(16614) and one to help out with virus problems (16455).

We are still waiting to hear of any sites that have stories and
anecdotes suitable for use in speeches (16520), the whereabouts of any
research into thesauri (16540) and some thesaurus data for the meat
industry (16585). There were also questions about the provenance of a
quotation (16345), the accuracy of a Chinese proverb (16485) and the
usual few Latin posers (16435, 16580, 16539).

Technical queries have been posted about backup strategies (16497),
accessing the Internet over a LAN (16398), adding a database to a Web
site (16357), a fake virus (16543), indexing PDF files (16474), a
lost Outlook Express address book (16617), a useful monitoring tool
(16618) and some CD writer problems (16368).

Miscellaneous questions have ranged from ones about searching for
mortgages in the UK (16427), working from home (16453) and database
reviews (16350) to desk rental prices (16483), origami penguin
templates (16560) and UK venues for holding get togethers (16559).
There have also been postings about finding mandolin lessons (16588),
acquiring tapes of a TV show (16591) and identifying a film about a
Ugandan game warden (16561). Nothing if not eclectic.

   [Note: To read a Bar posting enter the message number in place
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Students have been busying themselves with erudite matters, such as
the records of the last session of the French Parliament (2324),
customer relationship management (2326), the history of weirs and
locks (2352), knowledge management in isolation from IT (2363),
historical FT100 data (2380), online children's art collections
(2381), art institutions (2342), soccer development (2349), online
forums for inventors (2364), new media data (2332) and conserving
works created from wax (2374).

There have also been postings about how to become a librarian (2355),
how to secure a summer internship in London (2361), finding an MBA
university in Germany (2335) and finding a film production course
(2341).

And finally, there are students trying to get in touch with
Loughborough students (2344), University College London students
(2354) and information science students (2348).

  [Note: To read a Student Bar posting enter the message number in
  place of XXXX in the address <http://www.freepint.com/go/sXXXX>]

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If you have a tricky research question or can help other Free Pinters
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                           TIPS ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm#tips>

          "An introduction to the Netherlands on the web"
                          By Briget Lander

The Netherlands
---------------

You're thinking windmills, clogs and tulips.  You're thinking flat,
damp and windy.  You'd be right!  But the Netherlands is also an
extremely diverse, affluent, well educated and webwise country.  The
aim of this article is to give a brief overview of websites from this
country which has been my home for the last two years.

The Netherlands is a wired country with about 55 ISPs
<http://www.ispa.nl> providing 9.2 million internet users
(Nielsen/NetRatings for Jan 2002) with dial up and various broadband
connections.  Further, the Netherlands leads the rest of the EU in
broadband connectivity with 6.5 per cent of Dutch households (with a
TV) having broadband internet access (Europemedia news Oct 2001).

For those needing some starting points for research into the
Netherlands, for those thinking of visiting or living in the
Netherlands or those who are just curious, here is a selection of
interesting and/or useful websites from the Netherlands.


Finding your way on the Net
---------------------------

Ilse - <http://www.ilse.nl>
  This is an all purpose portal site (traffic, weather, free email,
  etc.) which includes a good search engine for Dutch sites.

Start pages - <http://www.startpagina.nl>
  This extensive collection of 'subject guides' on all manner of
  topics is surprisingly useful for browsing when your Dutch
  vocabulary is a bit limited.  Be warned, some of the pages are
  rather long!

NL menu - <http://www.nl-menu.nl/nlmenu.en/nlmenu.shtml>
  An excellent directory of websites compiled with the academic user
  in mind.  There are currently 37,500 sites listed and the directory
  is maintained by the national library (KB) with the help of 
  voluntary category editors.


Government and Universities
---------------------------

Dutch Government - <http://www.overheid.nl/info/english.html>
  A list of links to all Dutch ministries, local authorities and
  government organisations.  Most of the ministry sites provide an
  English version of their site but it is not always as complete as 
  the Dutch version.

Central Office of Statistics - <http://www.cbs.nl/en>
  There is free statistical information on social and economic
  subjects and a searchable database of publications.

List of Dutch Universities -
<http://www.vsnu.nl/show?id=14845&langid=247>
  A list of all 14 universities (and links to their websites) is
  provided by the Association of Dutch Universities
  <http://www.vsnu.nl>.


Libraries
---------

NVB - <http://www.nvb-online.nl/index.html>
  The Netherlands Association of Professionals in the Library,
  Information and Knowledge sectors.  The site gives the usual news,
  activities, branch groups, jobs (see below) etc.  There is only a
  brief summary available in English.

Royal library - <http://www.kb.nl/index-en.html>
  'Koninklijke Bibliotheek' ('Royal library' or 'KB') is the national
  library of the Netherlands.  Their online catalogue provides access
  to information in the humanities as well as to the 'Depot of Dutch
  Publications'.

Delft University of Technology Library - <http://www.library.tudelft.nl/eng>
  Their online catalogue functions as the national catalogue in
  technical sciences subjects (architecture, engineering, IT, physics,
  industrial design etc.).

NIWI (Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services) -
<http://www.niwi.knaw.nl/us/homepag.htm>
  This organisation's online catalogue is particularly strong in bio-
  medical information and functions as the national catalogue in this
  area.  There is also free access to the Netherlands Research
  Database which gives information about current scientific research
  projects.

OCLC_PICA - <http://www.pica.nl/en>
  Originally an association of Dutch universities for centrally
  cataloguing books, Pica has grown into a for-profit organisation
  providing various library automation services and products.
  Recently, Pica became OCLC_PICA.

Library jobs:

NVB - <http://www.nvb-online.nl/index.html>
  Although their job listings are predominantly in Dutch, the site is
  still useful because jobs for English speakers tend to be listed in
  English.

Reekx - <http://www.reekx.nl>
  This is a consulting and recruitment agency, placing info pros in 
  long and short term contracts, ranging from locums for front desk
  work to on-site project based consultants.

Probiblio - <http://www.probiblio.nl/randstad>
  Another employment agency specifically targetted at public library
  staffing.

Hatch Search Talent - <http://www.searchtalent.nl/main.html>
  A specialised recruitment agency for information professionals
  with a variety of library and non-library jobs.

Note: On Dutch websites, look for the word 'vacatures' (= 'jobs').


News
----

Surprisingly, there is no English language daily newspaper in the
Netherlands so keeping up to date with local news, issues and opinions
can be difficult.  Here are a couple of tips:

Europemedia - <http://www.europemedia.net/newsbycountry.asp?CountryID=25>
  Good range of general and business stories in English.

Kranten.com - <http://www.kranten.com>
  A collection of Dutch national papers - only really useful if your
  Dutch is reasonable (however, some papers have a small English
  section).

Radio Netherlands - <http://www.rnw.nl/cgi-bin/home/PressReview>
  This site provides a short review in English of the Dutch daily 
  papers and is quite useful for keeping in touch with local news 
  and issues.


Reference
---------

Yellow pages - <http://www.goudengids.nl>
White pages - <http://www.telefoongids.nl>

Maps - use Mapquest <http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?countrycode=169>
or the ANWB Routeplanner mentioned above.

Translation dictionary - <http://www.freedict.com/onldict/dut.html> -
despite the terrible flashing banners, this is the better of a few
free Dutch-English dictionaries.


Tourism
-------

You can use the regular tourist information and booking websites
(Timeout, Lonely Planet, cheap airlines, etc.) but there are lots of
sites that are specifically about visiting the Netherlands.  Also
included below are a few of my favourite 'tourist' sites.

Dutch National Tourist Board - <http://www.holland.com>
  Not a brilliant site but nevertheless the official site and worth
  a look.

VVV - <http://www.vvv.nl>
  The network of tourist offices throughout the country is called the
  VVV - but curiously, their website is all in Dutch!  However, the
  bigger cities have their own websites with plenty of information in
  English. Amsterdam <http://www.vvvamsterdam.nl>, Rotterdam 
  <http://www.vvvrotterdam.nl/engels/>, Den Haag (The Hague)
  <http://www.denhaag.com/nl/>, Utrecht <http://www.12utrecht.nl/>.

Keukenhof Gardens - <http://www.keukenhof.nl>
  You can take all the photos of tulips you like!  The ultimate
  tourist destination in Holland and well worth struggling through all
  the other tourists - really!

Museumserver - <http://www.museumserver.nl/home_fs_uk.htm>
  Great directory site for all museums in the country, what's on and
  where.


Expats
------

There is a sizeable expat community living in Holland, especially in
Amsterdam and the Hague. The two sites I have found particularly
useful are given below but there is a long list of Netherlands expat
websites in the Open Directory
<http://dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/Netherlands/Society_and_Culture/Expatriate_Life/>.

Access - <http://www.euronet.nl/users/access>
  Sometimes, a website is not enough and you really need to speak to
  someone who knows about living in the Netherlands from an expat
  perspective.  Give these people a call (or visit them) with
  questions ranging from drivers licenses to work permits to child
  care to cricket teams.

Expatica - <http://www.expatica.com>
  News updates twice each day, interesting feature articles to help
  cope with the cultural differences, lots of discussion and a weekly
  'What's on in Amsterdam' feature.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Briget Lander is currently part of the IT Innovation and Development
group of the Delft University of Technology Library in the Netherlands
<http://www.library.tudelft.nl>.  She holds a B. Engineering and a M.
Library and Information Studies from New Zealand universities.  This
has proved a useful combination of qualifications when working
variously as knowledge manager, project leader, business researcher
and IT trainer in private and public (academic) environments.  She
writes here in a personal capacity.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Related Free Pint links:

* "Netherlands" resources in the Free Pint Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/c155>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm#tips>
* Post a message to the author, Briget Lander, or suggest further 
  resources, at the Free Pint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Access the entire archive of Free Pint articles and issues
  <http://www.freepint.com/portal/content/>

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                        FREE PINT BOOKSHELF
                <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>

               "The Information Professional's Guide
                   to Career Development Online"
       Written by Sarah L. Nesbeitt and Rachel Singer Gordon
                     Reviewed by Diana McAuley

Career development is becoming more important than ever in the fast-
changing world of information management.  Developments in information
technology, flatter management structures and changing management
trends mean that information professionals need to work hard to ensure
that their skills, experience and contacts keep abreast with changes.

Sarah L Nesbeitt and Rachel Singer Gordon aim to encourage information
professionals to use online resources as a tool for career
development.  Traditional career development activities such as job-
hunting, networking, keeping up to date with new developments and
contributing to the literature can all be done via the Internet.

Career development for many suggests job-hunting, but this book
demonstrates that looking at online job postings is not the only or
most significant way in which the Internet can enhance your career.
Practical advice is provided on topics ranging from current awareness
services and personalised Web pages to educational and networking
opportunities, online conferences and discussion lists.

The authors practice what they preach, and provide a marvellous
example of online networking in their own approach to this book.  The
authors met via the Internet, and collaborated online via frequent
email exchanges.

Career Development Online takes a practical and down-to-earth
approach.  It gives many examples throughout, and does not take a
"techie" approach.  In fact, the introductory chapter on "getting
connected" will probably be a bit too basic for most information
professionals.  The biggest asset of this publication is the vast
number of online resources included, and the authors have created a
companion website to ensure that the online resources recommended in
the book remain relevant and accurate.

The only criticism of this book is that it has a very strong Canadian
and US bias.  In particular the chapters on educational sources, and
professional associations do not carry many useful links for UK based
information professionals. The appendices also carry few international
links.  However, the resources listed do provide examples of the type
of information available on the Internet, and the guidance applies to
UK information professionals just as much as to our US counterparts.

As online resources increase the Internet will be even more central to
career development.  This publication will be useful for all
information professionals regardless of where they are on the career
spectrum.  It can be placed on the bookshelf and dipped into for
assistance when necessary to enhance professionalism and improve
career opportunities.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Diana McAuley is Deputy Manager of the Trade Partners UK Information
Centre. Prior to that she worked as an information officer in the
voluntary sector for four years, and she is currently struggling
through the LA chartership process. In her current position she
researches websites of interest to UK exporters, so is particularly
interested in online searching.

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Related Free Pint links:

* Find out more about this book online at the Free Pint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/career.htm>
* Read customer comments and buy this book at Amazon.co.uk
  <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573871249/freepint0c>
  or Amazon.com
  <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573871249/freepint00>
* "The Information Professional's Guide to Career Development 
  Online" ISBN 1573871249 published by Information Today Inc.
  written by Sarah L. Nesbeitt and Rachel Singer Gordon
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the Free Pint
  Bookshelf at <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
* Read about other Internet marketing books on the Free Pint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/strategy.htm>

To propose an information-related book for review, send details 
to <bookshelf@freepint.com>.

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                          FEATURE ARTICLE
        <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm#feature>

   "Evolution or revolution: the future of scholarly publishing"
                          By Paul Harwood

Believe me, it is hard to explain to an outsider what scholarly
publishing is all about. When you say you work for a subscription
agent and get met with further blank looks, you realise you are onto a
loser and resolve that in future when someone asks you what you do for
a living, you simply reply "I work in publishing" and leave it at
that.

Every now and then, you do get someone who doesn't glaze over when you
explain what scholarly publishing is all about. Then it gets really
interesting because you start to tell them how it works: Scientist
writes research paper which he or she gives away to a publisher only
for that scientist's organisation to buy it back in the form of an
institutional subscription. Normally, the reaction you get falls into
two camps: "great business model" or "bet the Internet has changed all
that".

Encouraged by this rare interest in your livelihood, you keep going,
and explain the unique nature of the content, the idea of Peer Review,
what the Research Assessment Exercise is, the fascinating concept of
twigging and branching and of course, the age-old serials crisis; that
inflationary spiral which has been a major bone of contention between
librarians and publishers for the last thirty years.

Finally, having come all this way, you get to the best part of all.
The fact that this community, steeped in academia, traditional values
and seemingly untouched by outside forces is currently a hotbed of
intrigue, acquisition, merger, and disintermediation with a hint of
revolution in the air. If you have stayed with it this far,
read on ...

So far in the world of scholarly electronic publishing, everything has
changed but nothing has changed: journals still fail to arrive,
prices continue to increase over the rate of inflation each year and
the budget that research organisations have to spend on journals fails
to keep pace with those price increases. At the same time, we have
seen the emergence of wonderful new technological innovations like DOI
<http://www.doi.org> and SFX, unprecedented collaboration between
publishers with initiatives like CrossRef <http://www.crossref.org>
and research libraries actively abandoning print in favour of the
electronic version.

To try and get an insight into this complex ecosystem, it is
worthwhile dropping in on each of the three principal players who sit
between the authors and consumers of scholarly journals to try and
understand what is going on:


Publishers
----------

Mindful of the fact that the pot of money they are chasing is fairly
static, the main growth opportunity is in the acquisition of
competitors and there has been a significant consolidation of
publishers in scholarly publishing. The most recent merger, that
between Elsevier Science and Harcourt has prompted the Department of
Trade and Industry in the UK to undertake a review of the whole
process of scholarly publishing.

The major publishers have all made their content available
electronically and some are keen to move to electronic-only as quickly
as possible. Mostly, they have been successful in fending off the
library claims that electronic journals should be cheaper than the
print counterparts because the printing process and associated costs
have all but disappeared, by highlighting investment in new
technology, processes and systems to support the new formats.

Whilst some libraries have remarked that they cannot recall a time
when publishers have been so keen to visit, subscription agents have
viewed with some suspicion attempts by publishers to disintermediate
them. The reality seems to be that most publishers still appreciate
the added value that agents bring and if they can also help maximise
current sales or generate new ones, they are happy to continue to work
together. For those who insist on the go-it-alone route, the real test
is likely to come when they are confronted with real customer service
issues on a daily basis, something they have been protected from for
many years by the subscription agents.

The other main issue challenging the publishers is the appropriate
business model in the electronic age: sell a single database of all
titles, subject packages or exploit the increased granularity that the
electronic age offers by offering mixed packages of pay-per-view,
document delivery and subscription models. All are being experimented
with and analysed at length on discussion lists by librarians around
the world.


Subscription Agents
-------------------

<http://www.subscription-agents.org>

Three or four years ago, amid all the hype, it seemed that
subscription agents - essential in the world of print on paper - were
going to struggle to find a role in the world of electronic journals.
The dot.com frenzy of the last two years seemed only to further
highlight the remaining companies as dinosaurs: in the wrong age and
too big and cumbersome to change.

What many overlooked when predicting the demise of the agent was their
ongoing durability and creativity over many years. Organisations that
have had to operate on wafer-thin margins and learn the real science
of administrative efficiency, would not be killed-off that easily.
Agents understand customer service, automated processes and perhaps
most crucially of all, both the publishing and library communities: a
genuine unique insight into what both the suppliers and purchasers of
scholarly journals are thinking and doing as a result of dealing with
them on a daily basis.

Opportunities in consortia brokering, content aggregation, electronic
solutions and marketing services for publishers all offer potential
new roles for the agent on top of what they do best already:
supporting the acquisition and management of journals in both printed
and electronic format. The main concern for the agents' future
probably rests in their ability to avoid killing each other in the
fight for market share.

Although hard to believe, given the age-old maxim 'content is king',
agents may ultimately be less vulnerable to the evolution or
revolution in scholarly publishing than the publishers they have so
ably supported over many years.


Librarians
----------

Academic librarians in particular have embraced the move to electronic
journals and used it as a real opportunity to assert their
professional skills and to cultivate new ones (negotiation,
marketing). Many have used the experimentation in publishers' business
models to assert their views on pricing and access models more than
ever before and the ubiquitous email discussion lists means there are
no hiding places for those who offend.

Librarians have established their own gateways to electronic journals
and even helped develop new technical solutions to give them a greater
say in where their end-users are directed when searching for content
(SFX).

Mindful that some publishers have no qualms about walking over both
the subscription agent and themselves in their quest for a
relationship with the end-user, librarians have also created consortia
in an attempt to maximise purchasing and political power. The
notorious 'grilling' sessions at ICOLC meetings are full evidence of
this change <http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/>.

Were it just a simple matter of these three parties re-adjusting to
the new formats, business models and ways of working, you could argue
that not much would change. However, there are more fundamental shifts
taking place in the world of scholarly publishing that lead us to the
title of this paper.

Just as commercial publishers are weighing up their options when
thinking about who is best placed to get to the end-user, some
alternative publishing models have emerged which, for the first time,
threaten the grip that publishers have exerted on this community.

On the one side you have BioMedCentral urging academics and
researchers to send their papers to them and they will make them
freely available. A charge is paid by the author or his or her
institution to have the paper published. BioMedCentral has emerged
from the world of commercial publishing and some of the key staff
worked for major STM publishers.

On the other hand you have SPARC, <http://www.arl.org/sparc> an
initiative drawn very much from the library community which encourages
the production of cheaper alternatives to commercially available and
established peer-reviewed journals. With its roots in North America, a
European Chapter has recently been established
<http://www.sparceurope.org>. SPARC is already claiming some successes
in direct competition with established titles.

The evolution argument suggests that these initiatives will continue
to grow and develop and that commercial publishers will have to learn
to co-exist and compete with them. For the purchasers of journal
literature, it may mean a reduction in the unit cost and for the
academic or researcher, a variety of different places for his or
her paper.

Revolutionary fervour comes from the writings of Steven Harnad
<http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk> and the proponents of the Open
Archive concept. Harnad and colleagues advocate the complete
overthrow of the current commercial model, the establishment of a
common technical protocol and the development of institutional-based
archives where academics and researchers would deposit their papers.
When you listen to Harnad or read his papers on this subject, it is
difficult not to be persuaded by his arguments.

So, will it be evolution or revolution for the hitherto tranquil and
now increasingly turbulent world of scholarly publishing? Last year,
the Public Library of Science, an international group of academics,
threatened to withdraw from contributing to certain publishers'
journals unless they were made freely available after six months. Some
25,000 individuals signed-up to the cause but so far nothing seems to
have changed. Perhaps all the time academic tenure and advancement is
based so heavily on being published in the right journals, it will be
difficult for initiatives like this one to have any impact
<http://www.publiclibraryofscience.org>.

In the UK, we await the report of the DTI into scholarly commercial
publishing with interest. How much consolidation in the publishing
industry we will see between now and then is difficult to say,
although it is quite clear that we haven't seen the end yet. E-mail
boxes and discussion lists of librarians will continue to be full of
these matters on a daily basis whilst commercial publishers and
subscription agents will continue to try and re-establish the balance
of power and influence in the new electronic world.

If you take the conservative nature of this industry and many of its
stakeholders, you would have to come down on the evolution model:  a
shift from print to electronic at a slightly slower rate than was
predicted several years ago, some changes in role for the principal
players and some new entrants on the scene to prevent everything
becoming too cosy again.

However, with initiatives like the Public Library of Science unlikely
to wither and die, Steven Harnad showing no signs of relaxing and
librarians sensing an historic opportunity to gain greater influence
and recognition, a revolution cannot be discounted.

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Paul Harwood is Regional Director for Swets Blackwell, responsible for
the company's business in the UK and Ireland. A qualified librarian,
he worked for Swets Subscription Service for 10 years as Sales Manager
and Managing Director prior to the company's merger with Blackwell's
in 2000. Paul has written widely on the subject of scholarly
publishing and is currently Education Officer for the United Kingdom
Serials Group <http://www.uksg.org>, having previously served as
Marketing Officer. He also sits on the Medical Information Working
Party and is on the Editorial Board of the US publication 'The
Serials Librarian'.

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Related Free Pint links:

* "Information and Libraries" articles and resources in the Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/p69>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210302.htm#feature>
* Post a message to the author, Paul Harwood, or suggest further 
  resources, at the Free Pint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Access the entire archive of Free Pint content
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                         FORTHCOMING EVENTS
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If you thought there was plenty going on in March, then you'll be
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In London there is the fifth "Knowledge Management" conference from
Bizmedia <http://www.freepint.com/go/e120> and "Content Management:
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of content management issues and technologies, case studies and an
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Further afield, the CoFHE and UC&R Joint Conference entitled "Gate-
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Stateside, Infonortics present their sixth "Search Engine Meeting" in
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Details of these and many other conferences and exhibitions in the
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                           FREE PINT GOLD

If you've heard of XML but aren't sure what it is, then read the Tips
article from Free Pint this time last year. You will also find a
tremendous overview of Freedom of Information in the UK. Following a
spate of eBusiness books, we reviewed four titles in one go.

* Free Pint No.83, 15th March 2001. "XML - the DNA of the Internet"
  and "Freedom of Information"
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/150301.htm>

Two years ago, Martin White talked us through portals, vortals, hubs,
corporate portals and EIPs. Free Pint's Simon Collery took a look
behind the scenes at the Oxford English Dictionary online.

* Free Pint No.58, 16th March 2000. "Portals" and "WWW.OED.COM - A
  New Home for the Dictionary"
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/160300.htm>

In 1999, a wide range of resources were covered in the article on
pharma resources. The Feature looked at the issues surrounding
controlling access to online resources and the associated problems
of password proliferation.

* Free Pint No.34, 18th March 1999. "Pharmaceutical/health
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  Issues for Internet-based information services"
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180399.htm>

Four years ago, we talked about using the Net to find and interact
with people (hey, this was the early days), and Sift stalwart Ben
Heald looked at accounting resources online. Free Pint were
encouraging use of their Forum, the forerunner to the current Bar.

* Free Pint No.10, 19th March 1998. "Working the Net" and "Business
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  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/190398.htm>

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                              GOODBYE

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Free Pint (ISSN 1460-7239) is a free newsletter written by information 
professionals who share how they find quality and reliable information
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FreePint Topics
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Sources
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Technology
Value: Maximising value for information work and investment
Value
 
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Newsletter 397
24th April 2014

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