Fall 2003 Vol. XVIII, No.3

In this issue:

The Director's Report

The Scholarly Communication Crisis and UConn's Biomed Central Institutional Membership.

Household Products Database

Adding Content to your PDA.

Pubmed Update

New Look for the Library Homepage.

Web Watcher

Color Printing Now Available

E-Books: 3 New Significant Additions.

New Books in the Library.

Let us do it for you! Library services for users on the go.

Looking for material we don't own? Find it in Worldcat!

Stat-Ref!:New Features and New Look.

Update Archives


Editor: Robert M. Joven, MLS Information & Education Services Ext. 8493 E-mail - joven@uchc.edu



The Scholarly Communication Crisis and UConn’s BioMedCentral Institutional Membership
by Arta Dobbs, M.S.L.S
Collection Management Librarian


“What is the scholarly communication crisis? It is the loss of access to the scholarly research literature, as the rising cost of journal subscriptions far out-strip institutional library budgets. Each year libraries can afford to subscribe to fewer and fewer journals. Over the last 15 years, the price of research journals has risen over 200% (compare with the Consumer Price Index, up 57% over this same period). Consequently, academic libraries are subscribing to fewer and fewer titles - and slashing book buying as well. The inflation is due to a number of factors; most prominently, commercial publishers controlling an increasing percentage of titles, at the expense of scholarly societies and university presses. Profit margins for commercial publishers typically are at least 20% - with the profits coming from university libraries. Mergers and acquisitions exacerbate the trend, to the point where five publishers now produce over 50% of the science journals received at the University of Connecticut.

In short, the current system of scholarly publishing is unsustainable. Unable to keep up with the annual price increases, libraries have no choice but to cancel some subscriptions and reduce book purchases as well. That's the bad news. The good news is that efforts are underway to reverse the trend, and there are ways that UConn faculty can help. Follow the links below to get background information, see what faculty and researchers can do to help, discover what librarians are doing and can do, and explore alternative publishing initiatives that continue to gain impetus. You can make a difference in this all-important struggle!” [1]

The University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library and L.M. Stowe Library have entered into a joint agreement to become an institutional member of BioMedCentral. [2] This means that all researchers at this institution can now reap all the benefits of publishing research articles in an open access journal without paying the usual $500 article processing charge. This is true regardless of the number of papers you publish.

BioMed Central's Institutional Membership Program enables UConn to actively support open access [3] in scholarly publishing, and will help ensure the most widespread dissemination of the research published by UConn faculty.

BioMedCentral papers are peer-reviewed. When a paper is published in a BMC [4] open access journal, it is immediately indexed in PubMed [5] and the full text is archived securely and permanently on PubMed Central. [6] The free access to all the papers on the BMC site means that visibility for the authors' work is high - on average there are over 200 downloads per paper per month. Papers published in BMC journals are also indexed in ISI, Medline, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts, Crossref and Scirus, and are included in the Open Citation Project.[ 7]

Under the terms of our membership, all relevant research articles generated at the Unitversity of Connecticut will be listed on a specially created member’s page on the BioMedCentral site.[8] Authors who choose to publish their research in BioMedCentral’s journals are lending significant support to the open access publishing movement. I hope that you will take full advantage of our membership of BioMedCentral, and submit your next article to a BioMedCentral journal.

The open access publishing movement is supported by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and ARL has issued a resource guide to begin framing the issue. [9] ARL promotes “open access to quality information in support of learning and scholarship.” A key component of this effort is educating members of the research and academic communities about open access and its potential. ARL encourages discussions among library staff, campus administrators, university counsels, faculty, and policymakers about open access and how its application in research institutions can provide a cost-effective way to disseminate and use information.

1 University of Connecticut Homer Babbidge Library Web : http://www.lib.uconn.edu/about/administration/publications/scholarlycommunication.html

2 BioMedCentral : http://www.biomedcentral.com/

3 Budapest Open Access Initiative : http://www.soros.org/openaccess/index.shtml

4 BMC Open Access Journals List : http://www.biomedcentral.com/info/libraries/oajournals

5 PubMed : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

6 PubMedCentral : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PMC

7 OpCit : Open Citation Project : http://opcit.eprints.org/

8 Go to http://www.biomedcentral.com/inst/ and find our institution’s own page.

9 ARL : http://www.arl.org/scomm/open_access/framing.html





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