[linux-elitists] Re: More sites targeted -- another view (fwd)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Sat Nov 16 02:35:07 PST 2002


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 12:36:22 -0500
From: John K <jekwml@ritvax.RIT.EDU>
Reply-To: CHEMICAL INFORMATION SOURCES DISCUSSION LIST
    <CHMINF-L@indiana.edu>
To: CHMINF-L@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU
Subject: Re: More sites targeted -- another view

George,

Your critique of PubScience was right on target. But it misses the point,
namely, that PubScience is (was) a FREE government resource available to
each and every one of us.

John Kester
Science/Math/Imaging Science
Wallace Library @RIT

"I only have trouble with fly balls."
 -Carmelo Martinez, Outfielder

----- Original Message -----
From: <george@LIBRARY.CALTECH.EDU>
To: <CHMINF-L@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU>
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 11:16 AM
Subject: More sites targeted -- another view


> Personally, I'm tired of both sides of the PubScience debacle coloring the
> facts and attempting to spin the issue.
>
> Although I expressed my support during the comments period for the
> continuation of PubScience, it was not a real research caliber database.
> The database did not provide subject indexing comparable to PubMed or
> INSPEC.  It did provide easy, free access to abstracts of journal articles
> from multiple publishers in one place.  Convenient -- absolutely.
>
> A couple of quotes in the FCW article Eugene Litl forwarded
> <http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/1111/web-science-11-13-02.asp> are
> especially galling.  Emily Sheketoff, from ALA's Washington Office, is
> quoted:
>
> She predicted that the elimination of PubScience will have a "big
financial
> impact" on research libraries.
>
> The financial impact on research libraries, in point of fact, will be
ZERO.
> No research library, deserving of the "research" designation, was
dependent
> upon PubScience for subject access to the literature.  The database didn't
> have the intellectual effort of a professional indexing staff behind it.
> (Neither do Scirus or the other free commercial sector "indexes".)
>
> The tragedy is a "tragedy of the commons"; the casual web surfer, the
> independent scholar, students at smaller institutions are the ones who
will
> feel the loss most intensely.  Many public libraries, K-12, community
> colleges, 4-year colleges do not have the wherewithal to provide unlimited
> access to Compendex, INSPEC, and other major subject databases.
PubScience
> was a free utility to help bridge that gap.
>
> Susan Martin is identified in the article as a "Massachusetts-based
academic
> library consultant".  Her contention:
>
> Closure of the site means that articles from several small scientific
> publications "that aren't available anywhere else will no longer be
> available," she said.
>
> is equally disingenuous and laughable.  None of the publishers
contributing
> to PubScience, nor the DoE, were providing fulltext for free.  Pay per
view
> access to the articles was not an option in the PubScience service,
either.
> The articles were never available through PubScience.
>
> If the issue is indexing, or visibility, the small society publishers very
> likely did sustain a hit with the demise of PubScience.  The articles are
> certainly available through ILL, just as they always have been to
> nonsubscribing institutions.  The ability to identify these articles, at
> minimal expense to the enduser is what has been diminished.
>
> A truthful and honest discourse is the best recourse for librarians in
> combating what may indeed be the first salvo in a long battle to keep
public
> sector information services in operation.
>
> George S. Porter
> Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science
> Caltech, 1-43
> Pasadena, CA  91125-4300
> Telephone (626) 395-3409 Fax (626) 431-2681
>
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