High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine

Issue 1
Editorial Board


HEP Libraries Webzine
Issue 1 / March 2000

News Issue 1

The 2nd Workshop on Electronic Publishing in Physics to be held in CERN, Geneva, on March 31st 2000.

Go to Workshop Agenda

The first Workshop, also held at CERN, was mainly concerned with the potential of electronic publishing as a new area for scientific communication in Physics. Some of the principal Physics Publishers (Springer, Elsevier, IOP and PSA) attended and gave interesting contributions. This time, our aim is to explore what we call new schemes for electronic publishing in physics, particularly WEB-only publications, which are sometimes independent from publishers and printed versions. 

We shall look at some examples of the service these e-publications can provide. There is a wide offering - from physics journals ( where are they heading?) , to huge grey literature databases, specialized collections of directories, dictionaries and so on. 

In the section devoted to the new e-publication patterns, the experience of JHEP, a pioneering model started at SISSA in Trieste three years ago, will be discussed along with its future developments. 

A presentation of the WIRESCRIPT (WEB Information REpository on Scientific Culture, Research, Innovation Policy and Technology) a new WEB-only magazine on Science in Europe, will be given by the Chairman of the Editorial Board. Its aim is to offer a cross-disciplinary analysis of current and emerging technologies and to be a source of information written by researchers for researchers. 

This will be followed by a representative from JINR who will illustrate Dubna's first experience in electronic publishing and their future plans. 

From the Publishers' side, we also have news of "virtual" journals with updated features : 

1. The AIP and the APS have announced a series of what they call " overlay e-journals" that will collect relevant papers from a broad range of physical science journals and selected journals from participating publishers on AIP's Online Journal Publishing Service which provides browsable Tables of Contents and freely available abstracts with links to full-text articles in the source journals. 

2. The Institute of Physics (IOP) and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft will present the "New Journal of Physics" an all-electronic journal accessible at no charge to readers. NJP is funded by article charges from authors of published papers. 

3. Springers' LINK provides an extensive digital library delivered directly to the workplace of scientists, librarians and information brokers, with users having access to the electronic version before its printed counterpart is published. 

4. Elseviers specialized service Physics Direct, intended as a sub-set of Science Direct , offers the possibility of navigating internal links to a hyperlink within articles and abstracts listed in the cited references or to other articles and abstracts in the PhysicsDirect database. 

We will also see some examples of what these e-publications can produce - the Star*s Family is a service of general interest for astronomers and related scientists. e-JEMED is a new journal devoted to evolutionary modeling. 

 Recently a lot of efforts have been undertaken to improve the interoperability of e-print archives. The Open Archive Initiative (OAi) and E-BioSci are important steps towards the establishment of a service for author self-archives literature. 

The discussion of these different experiences and the variety of approaches and applications will conclude this intense one-day Workshop, open to physicists, librarians and information science people, specialists and non-specialists alike. 

Elsevier policy towards electronic journals.

Since the TULIP project (1993-1995) Elsevier has been active in the electronic journal service. It was impossible for such an important publisher not to be involved in that area. 

However, the policy has dramatically changed since 1996 onwards in terms of service, cost and long-term archiving. 

At the beginning the electronic journal service was launched as EES (Elsevier Electronic Service) with the idea to deliver only the content and let the libraries manage and organise the service on site. Very few libraries accepted the deal mainly because of the need for hardware and the implementation of a specific software to make the e-journals accessible to readers. In this optic the problem of long-term electronic archiving was downloaded to libraries. Exactly as in the paper edition framework: many libraries were asked to archive electronically the same journals. An unsatisfactory solution. 

In 1998 Elsevier launched the online service on their server. Libraries appreciated the enormous effort despite many evident problems related to the numerous and different levels of integration inside Elsevier itself. The first announcement of the new service called ScienceDirect was coupled with an online availability of the issues for a three year rolling window. A substantial improvement but still not enough for most libraries forced to keep the paper edition in any case without any saving, and on the contrary with some new extra costs. The computation of the online service costs was rather penalising the libraries, without any sharing with them of the benefits of the electronic edition. 

Since then the changes have been spectacular! Early in September 1999 Elsevier officials were ready to offer a ten-year rolling window of availability of the online edition. Finally on 29 October 1999 an official press release informed the libraries about the new Elsevier policy for a permanent archiving of electronic journals. In the mean time the extra cost proposed for the online service became more reasonable. The service took off. 

A happy ending of the story was strongly enhanced by another important announcement on 16 November 1999: Elsevier and several other publishers founded a joint venture to offer to their subscribers a so-called collaborative reference-linking service. The idea is to allow a cross citation among the different e-journals services. Three million articles will be immediately available with this option and half a million new articles each year. A new announcement about this venture was made on 2 February 2000 with the name of the company PILA (Publishers International Linking Association, Inc.) and the list of board directors where all participant publishers are represented. 

As an alternative to the full ScienceDirect service, Elsevier made another announcement on 26 January 2000 informing libraries that a new service called WebEditions is now distributed at no extra cost above the paper edition subscription with an online nine months rolling window. The same type of service was informally available before under the label NPE. Just a sort of encouragement to subscribe to ScienceDirect! 

In the end libraries have finally begun to get the long waited advantages from telectronic journal technology. For us, who were waiting, the four-year saga was a long one, but for science it is a big leap in a short time. 


Issue 1
Editorial Board
Last modified: August 2000