News and notes for math, Nov. 2017

The Library column, pp. 1 and 4 in CMS notes, Oct-Nov.2017 (Canadian Mathematical Society) is interesting but, in my opinion, exaggerates “the issue of being cut out of the collection if a library is temporarily unable to pay for a subscription.” Here’s a bit on this issue as it stands with the WU mathematics collections. Yes, there are a few collections where we would lose all access if we stopped paying, such as, some subscription ebook packages such as CRCnetBase, Safari Books Online, and eMO collections. The Springer ebooks packages are purchased annually and we have guaranteed access to the years we buy. If we ever can’t pay, we would just not get more current books, but we keep the books we already bought; that is true of most ejournal volumes and backfiles also. There are still a few journals which do not allow perpetual purchase of ejournals so we still receive paper issues; if we ever stopped our subscriptions we would lose all of that free e-access, but we would still have the paper issues. When publishers change, we do sometimes have interrupted access for a while but Portico, CLOCKSS, Project Euclid and JSTOR attempt to ensure permanent archiving even when publishers drop content. I do sometimes worry about losing access to titles that are freely available online, where we do not make any sort of payment, but that’s not the problem the CMS Notes article was talking about. Another point of the article was nostalgia for paper books and journals; that’s a sentiment I hear from many mathfolk but it’s not a luxury we can afford in many cases. I am happy to discuss collection issues and questions, so don’t hesitate to ask!

CRCnetBASE ebooks are now available on the Taylor and Francis NEW eBooks platform. Links in the catalog, blogs, etc. seem to forward nicely to the new platform. If you have access problems, please do contact Ruth as soon as you notice them. Thank you!

Confessions of a Science Librarian blog has begun its annual compilations of the Best Science Books for 2017.

From Scholarly Communications @ WU Libraries in November, 2017:

About the author

Ruth is a librarian at Washington University for biology, math, history of science; she is also scholarly communications coordinator. Email: Phone: 314-935-4819