Fwd: ZR/BIOSIS to be sold?

Tue Oct 21 21:55:39 CDT 2003

I have created link from my website www.coleoptera.org/p136.htm to
if anyone from botanist know some good index of plants, I will be delighted
to create the link.
You know entomologist need sometime info about host plants...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Kirk" <p.kirk at CABI.ORG>
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: ZR/BIOSIS to be sold?

> CABI is a not-for-profit (which doesn't meand we do things at a loss)
> international, intergovernmental organization which survives and thrives
> just 3% core funding. We have produced the Index of Fungi (the mycological
> equivalent of Zoological Record) since 1940 and our entire backlog file is
> available free to the end user on the web at www.indexfungorum.org - with
> the exception that we mask out some data from the last five years to
> our subscription income - which just about pays for the production of the
> Index of Fungi. Its a simple model - the subscriptions pay for the
> no subscriptions, no product.
> Of course things would be much different (in 'botany') if we had all voted
> positively for registration at the last Botanical Congress in St Louis -
> then some botanist were not interested in moving out of the 19th century.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: christian thompson
> Sent: 20/10/03 12:41
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Fwd: ZR/BIOSIS to be sold?
> Sorry, Martin:
> Tom has a lot of experience with these kinds of things. But he isn't
> just assuming the same for this Thompson deal, yet he is calling
> attention to potential problems.
> For example, last year or so, many libraries lost money when there was
> another corporate take over of a major subscription service called
> Faxon. It could happen again.
> Also, both the British and American governments have recently published
> reports on the way the major Academic publishers are using their virtual
> monopolies to squeeze excessive (25-30%) profit margins from their
> publications.
> Neither CABI* nor Thompson* are any different from those other Academic
> publishers.
> What does this mean for Zoological Record? As is well-known, the
> Zoological Record is a money loser. For years, BIOSIS has spent its
> profits from BioAbstracts to pay off the debts of ZR. Neither CABI nor
> Thompson will do this. They are FOR-PROFIT groups.
> Why does ZR lost money? Simple: Taxonomy isn't Medicine or Chemistry or
> Physics. It is an Ancient, poorly funded Science. ZR has only a few
> hundred subscriptions. Try to squeeze more money out of the subscription
> base is next to impossible.
> ZR over the last few years has cut staff and increased its automation,
> etc., but still does not break even. The last I heard they were still
> losing more than half million each volume.
> WHY? Because ZR tries to be a COMPREHENSIVE index to all publications
> that contain new Zoological names and taxonomic information. No other
> indexer of the scientific literature today even attempts to do this.
> These others only index / analyse the MAJOR serials.
> So, there are two likely outcomes for ZR. IF CABI can't make more money
> off of ZR and its services, then it will either dump it or cut back its
> comprehensive coverage.  Either way the zoological community will lose.
> Tom is right. The future of ZR is uncertain and this is a serious
> question for us, zoologists.
> *CABI once was a scientific organization, having a Science component
> which created new knowledge, but about a decade ago they fired all their
> scientists and became just an publishing / information provider.
> *Thompson is only a publisher. Read Nature about what it did to ISI and
> its bioinformatics program. Rather than continue Garfield's research
> into metrics to measure scientific productivity, etc., they simply cut
> that out and focused on maximizing profits from the existing ones.
> F. Christian Thompson
> Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
> c/o Smithsonian Institution
> MRC-0169 NHB
> PO Box 37012
> Washington, DC 20013-7012
> (202) 382-1800 voice
> (202) 786-9422 FAX
> cthompso at sel.barc.usda.gov e-mail
> www.diptera.org  web site
> >>> Martin Spies <spies at ZI.BIOLOGIE.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE> 10/20/03 06:36AM
> >>>
> Tom Moritz wrote:
> > >Please see:
> > >http://www.biosis.org/news_events/press/2003/031014.html
> > >
> > >This is a serious change in the "ownership" of Zooloogical Record
> > >and BIOISIS Previews and deserves serious scrutiny by our
> community.
> > >
> > >There are a number of outstanding questions to be answered about
> this
> > >action...
> Dear Dr. Moritz,
> I'd be interested in seeing you do one better than innuendo
> and explaining what "outstanding questions" you perceive.
> Looking in from the outside, responsibility for those data
> would move from one private organization to another.
> Where's the problem?
> --
> Martin Spies
> c/o Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen, Germany

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