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Januray 1999 Minutes


 JANUARY 15, 1999

Present: Lowell Wenger (Chair), Richard Slaughter (Co-Chair), Patricia Breivik (Dean), Dan Drucker, James Moseley, Victoria Neale, Martin E. Newcomb, Georgia Reid, Barbara Roseboro, Jim Woodyard, Robert Holley (Secretary)

1. Lowell Wenger, Chair, convened the meeting.  The minutes were accepted as distributed.

2. Since updated figures will soon be available, Jim Woodyard agreed to wait until the next meeting for the DALNET budget and marketing plan.

3. As a follow up to last month’s presentation on the new Horizon system, concern was expressed about confusion between keyword and exact title searches in the University of Detroit Mercy implementation. In response to questions, the group learned that the Detroit Public Library will begin to use the system around June 1, 1999 and that at least some Reuther Library materials are available in the on-line catalog.

4. On open-ended discussion about copyright and scholarly publishing was the major topic for discussion. “Who owns John Sutherland?” from the London Review of Books, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 1999 served as background reading. The following points are of special note:

Most faculty are not generally aware of the fact that universities are paying twice, first to fund the research and then to buy the results back from commercial publishers. A discussion of this issue should appear in the next library Newsletter.

The pressure on faculty to publish makes it difficult for them not to agree to signing away copyright. Faculty need an institutional policy on copyright to help them resist pressure from publishers, but the institution should not add internal review as a precondition for publishing.

One danger with electronic publications is that the library does not own the documents.  Access disappears when the subscription is canceled.

Professional societies may have role to play in breaking the strangle hold that commercial publishers have in some fields.

Action items from the discussion include the following tasks:

Dan Drucker, Victoria Neale, and Richard Slaughter volunteered to be a small subcommittee to review any documents and to provide advise.

Patricia Breivik will find out about developments at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

The Committee will see if the Wayne State University Academic Senate is interested in working on this issue.

The Committee will invite Jessica Litman, an expert on copyright in the College of Law, to speak with the group at its next meeting.  [She will not be able to come until March 29.  Patricia Breivik is polling the membership to make sure most can attend.]

Besides the Newsletter article, University Libraries will consider sponsoring a symposium on the issue.

Bob Holley will find one or two articles on this issue for the next meeting.

4.The next meeting will take place on February 22 from 1:30-2:30 in the Dean’s Conference Room.

Prepared by Robert P. Holley
February 8, 1999

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