LRTS v 39, no. 1, January 1995

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: East-West Exchanges 1960-1993

Margaret S. Olsen

Exchanges between Western and East European libraries have always been popular, and even as more East European publications become commercially available, exchanges remain important. Interestingly, Western librarians' perceptions of exchanges remain notably constant, despite sweeping changes in their operating conditions. Data for this article were gathered from three studies that represent three eras of East European politics and government. These studies show that the problems and advantages inherent in using East European exchanges remain much the same, even though the conditions that surround them can change dramatically. Similarly, while Western librarians' opinions of the economic advantages of exchanges have also remained constant, those opinions are not supported by objective evidence. These data suggest that exchanges will probably continue to be important sources in the future, no matter what changes the host countries might undergo. And given the instability of the political situation in Eastern Europe, Western librarians would be wise to keep all options open, exchanges included.

On the Cost Differences between Publishing a Book in Paper and in the Electronic Medium

Tom Clark

The processes an author's manuscript must go through to become a book, in paper and in electronic form are compared. From author's manuscript to publisher to printer to distributor, the common and unique features of the two processes are noted and compared. Definitions of paper book and electronic book are proposed. Graphics, art and hypertext features are excluded from the study and distribution by floppy disk is chosen over network distribution to achieve an even, apples-to-apples comparison between the two publishing processes. Publishing electronic books is substantially cheaper than publishing paper books on a per-book basis. The cost savings are realized by the subprocesses of the publication process that can be eliminated for the electronic medium and by the comparatively small space on a computer disk onto which the equivalent paper book can fit.

The Bibliographic Control of Foreign Monographs: A Review and Baseline Study

Gregory H. Leazer and Margaret Rohdy

The acquisition of foreign research publications has been an important activity of American university libraries from the early 19th century to the present day. The growth of scholarship in the post-war period, particularly in area studies, has made access to foreign research more essential than ever. In this article we assess the extent of bibliographic control over foreign published monographs. Previous evaluations of national bibliographic utility hit rates and quality assessment studies of bibliographic records are reviewed. These reviews suggest that the bibliographic control over general research monographs is better than the bibliographic control over foreign research monographs. However, the previous studies' varying sampling periods and techniques necessitate a baseline study to confirm the asserted difference of these two groups of monographs. The baseline study reported here confirms a lack of bibliographic control for a substantial portion of foreign monographs. Furthermore, an examination of the source of bibliographic records, the presence of Library of Congress classification, and the level of bibliographic description show that the quality of bibliographic records for foreign monographs is lower than the quality of records for domestic monographs.

Ownership versus Access and Low-Use Periodical Titles

Eleanor A. Gossen and Suzanne Irving

The question of the cost-effectiveness of ownership versus access to serials is explored using data collected during a local periodicals use study and data fromn the Association of Research Libraries/Research Libraries Group Cost Study. Analysis revealed that if a periodical is used fewer than five tunes per year in a given library, it is generally more cost-effective to rely on access, even if the subscription cost is modest. If total in-house use is ten times per year or more, the cost-effectiveness of relying on access rather than owner-ship is distributed unevenly across subject disciplines. An examination of the availablity of the group of low-use titles through interlibrary loan and commercial document delivery indicates general availability at the present time. The impact of periodical cancellations on users needs is also discussed.

Serials Citations and Holdings Correlation

John C. Calhoun

A survey reveals both advocates and opponents of citation analysis use in the management of academic journal collections, both a theoretical time parameter and a practical proportional extent that need to be established for journal literature, and several instances of comparativist methodology that seek to enhance citation analysis use with journals. A relational database file is compiled from three well-known abstracting and indexing services to model an academic journal collection and examine the use, need, and methodology that the survey has revealed. The record structure of the file is described, and then the file is indexed by the domains of the abstracting and indexing services in an attempt to develop a technique of interchangeability between the percentile expression of subject category rank in the domains and the percentile expression of union holdings rank in the file. Alternatives that involve service-domain cocitations and a fourth domain of most-borrowed titles are discussed briefly; and then the file, now including the fourth domain of most-borrowed titles, is indexed by publisher so that the subject category rank for each serial publication can be averaged to establish a principle of uniformity that is a necessary precondition for the technique. The study concludes with several examples based on the cumulative advantage process and the 70/30 Rule associated with the core of the model.