Academic Services Committee


Minutes of March 2, 2000 Meeting, 3:00 p.m., Wilby Room, Library


Members Present: Carol Colatrella (IAC); Miriam Drake (Dean, Library); Don Frank (Exec Bd Liaison); Michael Kelly (GTRI); Jonathan Miner (UG Rep); John Papastavridis (COE); Spencer Rugaber (CoE); Edward Thomas (PHYS); Goutam Challagalla, (MGT)

  1. Serials Review: Miriam Drake reported that the serials review is ongoing and that data will be culled during March, after all units have shared their input regarding usage of titles. The library will then draft recommendations for titles to be eliminated, which will be checked with each unit. Dean Drake expects the library will notify publishers and vendors of the cancellations in April to take effect in January 2001.
  2. Electronic Reserves: Carol Colatrella shared a concern raised by Nancey Green Leigh, who was unavoidably detained, regarding the frequent scanning of materials for on-line reserve lists. Do readings need to be scanned each term? Or can readings stay on reserve for longer periods without re-scanning? Dean Drake responded that readings must be re-scanned each term in order to comply with fair use provisions of copyright law. Exceptions can be made if faculty receive special permission from copyright holders to use readings for longer periods; such permission must be given in writing. The library reference staff can advise regarding such arrangements.
  3. Journals in Stacks: John Papastavridis inquired about the possibility of moving some serials from storage into more accessible shelving, based on whether past issues are used heavily by researchers. Dean Drake reported that to move the journals would present logistical and financial problems: a large-scale move requires space, which is currently tight, and money for the physical move (estimated at $25,000). After a lively discussion concerning how to best balance scholarly research needs and library constraints, the committee agreed by consensus that Papastavridis in concert with the appropriate library consultant undertake a study to determine Which journals in his scholarly field qualify as most needed. It was also suggested by Ed Thomas that ME might endeavor to purchase back issues of such journals, which are often available at a reasonable price, in order to house them on-site within the department, where they would be most accessible.
  4. Kohl Report on Serials Cost and Possible Faculty Action: Ed Thomas summarized the Kohl Committee Report ("Review of Journal Pricing, Copyright Issues, and Proposed Strategies," presented to the Executive Board on August 25, 1999) and offered a motion based on the report. The committee unanimously approved a version of the Thomas motion as amended by Mike Kelly. Committee members agreed that clauses 1 and 2 of the motion are already in process and that clause 3 is a recommendation to faculty that could help address the issue of serials cost.

The text of the motion as amended and approved follows:

The Faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology expresses its concern at the continuing escalation of journal costs at a rate above inflation. In an attempt to better serve the needs of this faculty in its access to information, it is resolved that:

a). The Library be asked to develop useful metrics concerning price and impact (at our institution) for the journals purchased by our library and to share this with units of the institution and at a meeting of the General Faculty.

b). That the library and schools together should identify a "threshold" of acceptability for the combinations of cost and impact for journals of interest to each school; further they identify journals that do not reach this threshold.

c). The faculty of the Institute, on an individual basis, should strongly consider the impact and pricing of journals in deciding whether to support journals in submitting and reviewing manuscripts, in sitting on Editorial Boards, and in communicating their concerns to publishers.

The motion was sent on to the Executive Board for their action.  

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will take place in Fall 2000.