Re: BMJ/Stanford Pre-Empts E-Biomed?

From: Chris Armstrong <lisqual_at_CIX.CO.UK>
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 08:26:00 +0100

I thought the following 4 emails (the chain starts at the bottom) may
be interesting and informative. All writers have given their

Tony McSean would like to note for the wider audience: "that the BMA
and the BMJ, while operating independently are part of the same
organisation. My views are mine and represent BMA library policy and
are independent of the BMJ Publishing Group and the BMJ journal
editorial team."

Chris Armstrong
Centre for Information Quality Management
Information Automation Limited

---- Forwarded Message ----
>Dear all,
>To my opinion we notice here the difference between "readers",
>"scanners" and "clickers".
>1. Readers: what library users used to be, people interested to know
>and understand
>2. Scanners: fast movers, picking the berries on their way to what
>they think is heaven (which will turn out to be a fata morgana to my
>opinion, but anyway.. they are following their career path)
>3. Clickers: those people really fascinated and "doped" by the
>wonders of the hypertextual Internet
>Most people who are still "clinical" active (physicians or let we
>call them the real doctors) belong to group 1.
>Most research people (e.g. geneticists, biochemists, molecular
>biologists, but also experimental cardiologists) belong to group 2.
>Most computer staff (especially hardware people and programmers who
>do not even no that "content" exists) belong to group 3.
>As group 2 and 3 are the most influential nowadays and are quite a
>number altogether, it is their view and opinion that dominates.
>In my institute I have planned to move to "electronic online only"
>for the basic research titles (JBC and the like)
>For the titles with a broader interest and subject field, or with
>real news, views and reviews (Science, Nature, BMJ, Cuurent Opinion,
>I head for print + online, with the print being kept for a limited
>time frame (say 5 years). I will rely on the electronics for
>archiving (done by National libraries or other real big ones)
>For the clinical titles I will keep the print as long as possible
>(regarding limited shelf space that will be allotted in new buildig
>plans!!) and additionally take online as an extra.
>Online full text with the hyperlinks to bibliographic databases and
>vice versa, are real good for retrieving from the archives. And I
>bet that also in retrieving form electronic shelves librarians will
>be better and faster (with high recall and precision) than patrons.
>Online full text requires indeed a very high investment in equipment
>(and suitable furniture and peripherals), a high use of resources
>(paper and ink) and infrastructure (networks), more skilled
>assistance to keep things running and in order (computer support
>people have higher salaries than the library clerks and assistants)
>and online full text will be very easy to "control" in access.
>(I just noticed that the nice PDF full text of journal articles
>accessible through biomednet cannot be saved locally).
>The only thing we know for certain that if it is not on a mutual
>support basis among academics (and medical libraries), that access
>to information will become extremely expensive. It only depends on
>where the dams and dykes will be build (copyright legislation and
>other governmental actions versus university cooperation and
>academic free market), where the money flows to. But that story
>nobody wants to hear, especially not the managers.
>Greetings form Amsterdam,
>Suzanne Bakker
>Central Cancer Library
>The Netherlands Cancer Institute
>Graham Titley wrote:
>> I can think of another reason for not wanting eBMJ only. I cannot
>>provide enough computers within the library, with Internet access,
>>to satisfy demand. Already some are dual-purpose and doubling up
>>as OPAC and Word Processors! If Joe Bloggs comes in to use the BMJ
>>and all the machines are in use he will leave disallusioned and
>>unsatisfied! This already happens during the approach to Doctors
>>change over in Feb & Aug in regard to the paper Vacancies
>>Supplement (which adds to my photocopying income generation!)
>>Incidentally has anyone tried to use the Vacancies online? -
>> give me the paper version anytime!
>> My Trust also has in place an Internet access policy that
>>restricts access to 08.00 - 18.00 Mon to Fri only, so being reliant
>>on eBMJ only is not an viable option.
>> Graham Titley
>> Rochdale
>> >From:
>> >Reply-To:
>> >To:
>> >Subject: Re: Electronic BMJ
>> >Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 14:18:34 +0100
>> >
>> >Gill raises an interesting issue. For the BMA Library the
>> >decision is an easy
>> >one since around 8% of all our enquiries relate directly to the
>> >BMJ. In the
>> >broader context I can think of three reasons for hanging on to
>> >paper at least
>> >for now.
>> >
>> >1. Readers expect it , and we should be careful about moving too
>> >far away from what our readers expect of us.
>> >
>> >2. I think the case for electronics-only is much less clear for
>> >a subject-wide journal like the BMJ than it is for specialist
>> >journals. As librarians we maybe
>> >have an exaggerated view of the extent and value of browsing,
>> >serendipity and so
>> >on in our readers' lives, but you've only got to watch doctors
>> >flicking through
>> >their BMJs to see their preferred style of use, and to know that
>> >the current
>> >state of computing falls a long way short of providing properly
>> >for this style of use.
>> >
>> >3. and to me the most important is the assurance of access and
>> >control over
>> >archiving that currently only comes with print on paper. As far
>> >as electronic
>> >journals are concerned we are very much like kids newly set loose
>> >in the play
>> >centre. We have no clear idea of how electronic publications
>> >will be archived
>> >long-term, ditto how we will manage to translate them from format
>> >to format to
>> >match developing technologies - and even if we did know how to do
>> >it we don't know how it will be paid for.
>> >
>> >So - contrary to a lot of things I was saying 5 years ago (and
>> >also, more to the
>> >point, building into planning assumptions for this library) we
>> >will be hanging
>> >on to our paper journals at least until (3) is solved, and will
>> >probably keep
>> >the non-specialist ones for a bit after that.
>> >
>> >Tony McSean
>> >BMA Library
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >========
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >Hello everyone
>>> >
>>> >Has anyone taken the step of cancelling their print subscription
>>> >to BMJ respect of the fact that it is available free and in full
>>> >text on the BMJ website?
>>> >
>>> >I cannot decide what to do for the best. My reasons for
>>> >cancelling it are Icould use the spare money to subscribe to
>>> >another journal and enrich our
>>> >resources. Reasons against: none really.
>>> >
>>> >If anyone else has had a think about it I would be very grateful
>>> >in hearing your thoughts.
>>> >
>>> >Kind regards
>>> >
>>> >Gill
>>> >
>>> >Gill Wareing
>>> >Information Officer
>>> >SHS International Ltd
>>> >100 Wavertree Boulevard
>>> >Liverpool
>>> >L7 9PT
>>> >United Kingdom
>>> >
>>> >tel: +44 (0)151 228 8161
>>> >fax: +44(0)151 228 2650
>>> >e-mail:
>>> >web:
>>> >
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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