Meeting of Southern European Libraries' Consortia, May 14, 2004 Universita di Napoli Parthenope, Villa Doria D'Angri, Via Petrarca 80, Naples, Italy
||Licensing principles, best practices, contract clauses
||Scientific Communication, Open Access, SPARC
||Brief reports of latest conferences attended in 2004 (ALA Meeting)
||next ICOLC conference- Lluis offered to report on the state of the art
||Elsevier products presentation
||Discussion and closing of the meeting
||Dinner at Borgo Marinaro
following outlines the discussions held during the 4th SELL meeting.
The meeting began, as usual, with country reports of consortial developments.
Overall, consortia in the southern European Mediterranean area continue to progress and
are undertaking a wide range of new initiatives. Particular issues mentioned, include:
- Frustration in dealing with Elsevier's attempts at imposing new charges on consortia during renewal contract negotiations (Greece)
- Difficulty in adopting DSpace software to respond to Spanish diacritics (Spain)
- Continuing concerns with VAT and its strong negative impact on consortial ability to move to all digital resources (all countries)
- Complications in coordinating regional consortia to move toward a national agenda such as national contract negotiations and negotiating principles (Italy, Spain)
- Attempts to develop national repositories for national language materials (Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey)
Discussion of Open Access: Karasozen made an informative and balanced presentation on the
subject and a lively discussion ensued. Basically, Karasozen reported that there is a lot of
experimentation going on in terms of business and distribution models but that so far no
clear and convincing model has yet emerged. As a related supplemental report, Kohl reported that
at the spring ICOLC 2004, the American Physical Society announced that they had decided to pass on
the cost savings to libraries of a favorable printing contract in the form of a 5% reduction in
subscription prices, that the American Medical Association announced that they would be experimenting
with making their lead journal, the Journal of the American Medical Society, into an open access journal,
and that BioOne (a SPARC initiative of biological society journals) announced that they would reluctantly
be imposing a 9% increase in subscription costs this year.
A spirited and lengthy discussion ensued with, among other, the following points emerging:
- commercial publishers need competition to keep their prices in line
- individual faculty and scholarly societies are only providing ambivalent and uncertain support for OA and in some cases are actively on record as opposing it
- an interesting group of tools is emerging which support OA, including DSpace and Google searches of the deep web (academic repository holdings)
- concern about library/university ability and commitment to manage support of scholarly communication in a cost effective and long term manner
- different academic disciplines have different needs and concerns for scholarly communication and its mechanisms
- the OA business models should be so designed as to not exclude developing countries from submitting research
There was general agreement that OA developments should continue to be monitored by all present.
- Open discussion:
Due to the shortness of time, a number of the agenda items were telescoped into the OA discussion.
- Fall ICOLC:
Anglada reported on preparations and the agenda for the Barcelona ICOLC this fall. General comments
and observations were made, but in general, things seemed well in hand. The registration web site is
now up and ready for business.
- Elsevier Presentation:
The Elsevier representative (Luca Carpi de Resmini) presented the new pricing model and comments on
Open Access. Vigorous discussion followed. Great concerns were expressed about new charges, particularly
those for perpetual access if a contract were discontinued as well as those proposed charges for titles
which consortial members had not traditionally subscribed to in the past. Concern was also expressed about
what appeared to be arbitrary banding of universities by size. The responses by the representative were
not considered satisfactory. The presentation of OA issues (as viewed by Elsevier) was likewise considered
unsatisfactory and not particularly enlightening or helpful.
- Concluding discussion:
A number of action items were agreed on:
- All country reports would be sent to Dervou for mounting on the SELL website
- The site of the next SELL meeting will be determined by Fernandes and Dervou and announced to the group in a month or two. Portugal will host the next meeting if, after internal discussion, they feel they are ready to do so, otherwise the next SELL meeting will he held in Greece
- A letter of concern about the new Elsevier pricing model will be drafted by Karasozen and reviewed by Dervou, after which it will be submitted to the group for their consideration and comments. Upon general approval it will be sent to the appropriate Elsevier representatives.
- The group will experiment with an occasional newsletter to allow SELL members and their libraries to keep up to date on useful developments of consortial interest between meetings. News items, information on useful resources, publications, etc...should be sent to Dervou who will organize them and distribute them as an e-newsletter to SELL members.
- The group approved the idea of experimenting with an annual SELL workshop on issues of importance to the group. It will draw on SELL members (as well as outside experts) for presentations and expertise. There will also be an attempt to have publishers and vendors provide scholarships for as many of the attendees as possible. If so desired, it may be possible and useful to repeat successful workshops as well in specific countries as the most cost-effective way to make useful information and skills available beyond the annual presentation of the workshop. Dervou will undertake to arrange the first such SELL workshop for spring, 2005 and will call upon SELL members for help with presentations as necessary.