ISSN 0307-7284
New Series No. 55
Michaelmas Term 2004

Edited by Aidan Baker and Kathryn McKee



The red-hot topic is journals. What can we do now that so many subscription costs have gone through the roof? Cambridge in 2004 has seen two well-attended workshops on the future of journals, and Peter Fox's discussion paper 'Co-ordination of library resources, especially journals'. The workshops saw the future largely in terms of electronic publication: open access, self-archiving, and similar. We have a piece by Peter Morgan, talking about DSpace, the online archive project that is making those things a reality in Cambridge. We have also a view from Libby Tilley in Earth Sciences, where many have yet to be convinced about the virtues of open access. And, as an indication of what co-ordination means in practice, we have Michael P. Wilson's account of the process that led Selwyn College Library to cancel its subscription to the journal Nature.

And, in the online CULIB only – life on the other side of the invoice. What's it like to produce a journal? Not a house journal like CULIB, but one that you want to sell to libraries? Ann Irving, Clare Sansom and David Barrowclough tell us how it's been for them.

In the paper version of CULIB, and in the web version as initially posted, Michael P. Wilson's article was incorrectly attributed to Sarah Stamford. CULIB would like to apologise to both Michael and Sarah for this mistake.

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The concepts of open access publishing and institutional repositories have become a fertile territory for discussion in the scholarly, library, and publishing sectors. The report Scientific publications: free for all? (1) has added a new impetus to this debate with 16 explicit recommendations (nos 43-58) in support of institutional repositories. Although the report, like much of the earlier debate, has concentrated on science, technology and medicine, many of the issues under consideration are also relevant to the arts and humanities.

In Cambridge, the University Library has organised workshops (one in April 2002 and two in March 2004) (2) to foster a wider awareness of the issues relating to scholarly communication and open access publishing; and since January 2003 the UL has been exploring the potential for an institutional repository through 'DSpace@Cambridge'.

DSpace@Cambridge (3) is a three-year (2003-2005) project. It involves a partnership between Cambridge University Library, Cambridge University Computing Service, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, and is funded by a grant from the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) (4) . The project utilises the DSpace repository software platform developed by MIT Libraries in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard.

Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, has defined a university-based institutional repository as "a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the university and its community members" (5) . What does establishing an institutional repository mean in practice?

The Cambridge-MIT project has several objectives. In outline they are:

From the outset the Cambridge project announced that it was interested in acquiring a wide range of content, firstly to identify demand across all subject areas and learn how such a repository could best serve the University's interests, and secondly to test the DSpace platform's ability to handle and preserve each type of material.

The Cambridge approach differs from most of the digital repository initiatives on which other institutions have embarked. Much of the impetus for creating repositories has been linked with the perceived need for systems that could capture and disseminate research papers. The first repositories set up for this purpose were subject-based - for example, "arXiv" for physics and mathematics, "RePeC" for economics, "CogPrints" for cognitive psychology, and the UK Arts and Humanities Data Service - and the alternative approach of using repositories that are institution-specific is a more recent development. Many of the repositories set up to acquire research papers have therefore employed software platforms that were designed specifically for the purpose (the best-known being (6)), or have adopted repositories with a broader range of capabilities while still declaring research papers to be their primary target.

From the outset DSpace@Cambridge has adopted a more inclusive policy, thus enabling acquisition policy to be determined largely by the academic community rather than imposing on that community a preconceived idea of what is appropriate. It is hoped that the project can develop the DSpace@Cambridge repository as a service responsive to the needs of the University as a whole, and not just to those originating within the University Library or the Computing Service. The formation of a repository strategy is seen as being an evolutionary process rather than one defined by predetermined policy decisions.

At the same time, one of the attractions of DSpace from the University Library's point of view is its potential both for enabling self-archiving of published research papers by the academic community, and for contributing to the development of open access journals. Such activities have advantages for the parent institution, for libraries, and for authors. At the institutional level, the repository fulfils Lynch's vision of managing and disseminating the intellectual output of the University. Libraries may benefit because repositories help to provide more cost-effective alternatives to existing commercial publishing models, thus relieving pressure on library budgets. And authors can benefit because the institutional repository expects to offer a long-term commitment to maintaining levels of visibility, persistence, security, and preservation that most current alternatives such as personal webpages or departmental servers will find it difficult to match cost-effectively.

The DSpace platform is well-suited to serve both self-archiving and open access publishing. Its structure is based on 'communities' (which may be faculties, departments, or other convenient groupings) and each community, once allocated space within the repository, can then divide into sub-communities and specific collections, all of them managed by the community itself. Thus one collection might be refereed research papers, another might be theses, and a third teaching programmes. Content is loaded into DSpace by one of two methods. Where a large collection of material is available, a batch import system can be created by the system administrator; and where material is produced on a regular, ongoing basis, a submission workflow built into the web-based DSpace user interface enables the creator (or an authorised agent such as a departmental librarian) to load files and associated metadata into the appropriate collection whenever convenient. By default DSpace@Cambridge is an open access repository making content freely available, but access controls can be applied when necessary to restrict the use of any given collection.

DSpace@Cambridge has drawn a widespread interest in its use to host digital collections such as images, video films, and scientific data, but a contrasting reluctance so far to use it as a host for research publications. The reasons for this reluctance are varied and complex - and there are significant differences of attitude between subject disciplines - but concerns over copyright have emerged persistently. It is still widely believed that an author who self-archives published work in an openly-accessible repository is infringing the copyright assigned or licensed to the publisher of that work. While this remains a legitimate concern in some circumstances, the situation is now far more favourably inclined to authors than many have yet appreciated. Some of the largest and most influential publishers have now changed their policy and will permit authors to self-archive papers. The exact terms of this permission vary from publisher to publisher, but the general principle is established. See the SHERPA-ROMEO database (7) of publishers' copyright policies.

As authors become more confident of their right to place published material in DSpace@Cambridge (which does not itself acquire the copyright) there is good reason to believe that they will come to regard self-archiving as a routine part of the academic publishing process. The influence of the UK Select Committee report may contribute to this trend, not least through its recommendation that research grant funding should be used to support the dissemination of research outcomes through open access publishing and self-archiving. If, as it proposes, the major UK research funding organisations all undertake to provide explicit support of this sort, use of institutional repositories may soon become the norm for the scholarly research community.

While DSpace@Cambridge's role in hosting self-archived research papers is relatively well-defined, its potential as a host for online journal publishing is as yet less clear. It may have a part to play in providing a long-term archive for UK publications as part of the University Library's legal deposit responsibility, but this will depend on the outcome of discussions currently taking place among the legal deposit libraries. The project will also be able to explore the possibility of supporting open access journals, i.e. journals where access to the content is freely available and the cost is met by other means such as pre-publication payment by the author (or in practice by the author's institution or research grant). Some open access publishing models are already emerging (the Public Library of Science and BioMed Central are leading exponents, and publishers such as Oxford University Press have announced experimental open access journals). But where academics wish to manage the publication process for themselves, DSpace@Cambridge might host the journal in whole or in part. This would be particularly appropriate if the journal was seen as being essentially a Cambridge product, and therefore qualifying for inclusion in the institutional repository. However, if the journal is a multi-institutional enterprise, with contributions from a distributed peer group and an editorial base in Cambridge, the notion of the institutional repository accepting responsibility for hosting the entire journal is not quite so straightforward. But the DSpace@Cambridge project is interested in exploring this issue.

The project team will be pleased to discuss the questions raised here. While some early users have been identified through proactive approaches from the project team, others have taken the initiative in contacting the project themselves, and we very much welcome further approaches of this sort. Librarians, especially those based within faculties and departments, are particularly well placed to identify potential areas of interest and to act as intermediaries between potential users and the project. The door is open...

Peter Morgan
Project Director, DSpace@Cambridge
Cambridge University Library

tel: x.33130, email:

(1) Science & Technology Select Committee: Scientific publications : free for all? Tenth Report of Session 2003-04. HC 399-1, Stationery Office, 2004
(2) Workshops on the Future of the Journal:
(3) DSpace@Cambridge:
(4) Cambridge-MIT Institute:
(5) Lynch, C.: 'Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age' ARL Bimonthly Report 226, February 2003

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The question of the future of journals in scientific academic institutions is here for the long haul. In the Earth Sciences the last century has seen the change from a relatively small number of printed publications via scholarly societies to a diversification of subject fields, combined with a proliferation of research scientists and submitted manuscripts. Add the recent growth of material available online, resulting in contentious issues of online archiving, online serials management combined with the well-recognised and documented problems of big for-profit publishers.

Average annual increases in journals from commercial publishers have risen steeply – typically 12% p.a. over the last decade or so, taking up about 70% of the Library budget from some 30% of the titles. Learned society journal subscription prices are also rising, but from a much lower base than commercial publications. Compare, for instance, Marine geology, a well-regarded title published by Elsevier (£1,040.00 to £2,201.86 from 1994-2004), and Palaeontology, a top quality journal from a learned society (£88 to £130 from 1994-2004). With budgets dropping in real terms, this rise in subscription costs resulted in Earth Sciences cancelling a significant number of titles in 2003. To add to this, readers increasingly demand access to both print on paper and electronic versions of a journal. For most titles that means a print subscription first with online add-on.

The Earth Sciences Library faces the problem of maintaining a nationally acclaimed collection at the level expected of us, whilst not having the necessary funds to do so. As part of the tripartite library system in Cambridge the library is expected to develop and maintain collections at an appropriate depth in order that excellence in teaching and research can take place. In today's hybrid library-world, this is becoming increasingly difficult when funds do not match costs.

"Enter right" - open access journals and institutional repositories. The term "open access" refers to the free availability of literature via the Internet, allowing any user to access that material. It is proposed, and indeed already fact in some subject areas, that authors using currently available technologies such as 'open access journals' or 'self-archiving' in institutional repositories should disseminate their research in this manner rather than via subscription journals. Free global access to scientific research is promoted as being a desirable form of scholarly communication in part to allow greater readership of research. There are implications, of course, for such a significant shift from the current publishing model. It is anticipated that costs, especially for services such as peer review, will be borne by the author or more realistically by the funding agency (NERC in the case of many earth scientists) or the academic institution. The logic is that, with payment coming from the research side, and with online access uncharged, the Library will not need to spend its diminishing budget on accelerating journal subscriptions. The recently published Tenth Report of Session 2003-04, Scientific Publications: Free for all? by the UK Government's Science and Technology Committee ( pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmsctech/399/399.pdf) focuses its findings on recommending the establishment of institutional repositories with a further mandate to Research Councils to deposit articles in this manner.

How do the Earth Scientists feel about such a change? In summary – largely suspicious and unconvinced!

There is a high degree of concern about quality peer review – by and large staff are not interested in accessing the full complement of manuscripts submitted on a global scale, but want to know that what they are reading is quality and is, as far as possible, promoting good research. As members of review panels for journals they seek to provide a filter that is useful and helpful to all those who submit papers. This essential aspect of the research process is a thankless task for the reviewers, and some fear that new proposed mechanisms for dealing with it will not claim their loyalty.

There is some anxiety that plagiarism will become a more significant problem.

Researchers are concerned about the costs to themselves of submitting to open access titles, and the near impossible task of persuading their funding agency to go the route suggested above. Dominant in many minds, instead, is the diversion of publication submissions away from the commercial publishers to the learned societies such as the Geological Society of America (GSA). This is a grass roots attempt to demonstrate unhappiness over the rocketing costs of commercial journals by supporting what is regarded to be valuable and reliable.

According to the Directory of Open Access ( ) there are currently 17 open access titles available in the Earth Sciences, but they do not, contrary to the arguments presented by the online journal PloS Biology (, include any significant quality titles. The difficulty in encouraging contribution to titles not highly thought of is well known. Veltrop (2003) argues that, because the learned societies by their very nature are there to "further widespread dissemination and encourage research", they will back the open access movement. The evidence from the earth sciences is not so apparent. Other ventures are emerging instead, such as the proposed launch of GeoScienceWorld, aiming to "deliver online the aggregated journal content of both its founding organizations [learned societies], and many other not-for-profit and independent earth science publishers" ( One of the GSW requirements is that publishers taking part should be members of the Publishers International Linking Association for CrossRef ( - another venture, this time with leading publishers in collaboration with Google, providing a means of integrating current and archived online content enabling researchers to access full text articles.

Institutional repositories are also treated with some degree of caution. Who will pay, who will do the work of loading articles into the repository, what about peer-review, especially for the self-archived pre-print, will it open the door to many poor manuscripts being made available, ultimately causing future inaccuracies in research and plagiarism? These are some of the many questions that members of the department are raising. There is some feeling that instead of encouraging wider access to research, users will decide that you can only trust those papers whose authors are known to them. Very few members of the Department are aware of DSpace, the institutional repository in Cambridge.

In some subject areas self-archiving is "in the mainstream of scholarly communication" (Friend, 2004) such as Arxiv for Physics ( but not so far in the Earth Sciences. In the USA a number of universities are actively drafting publication policy for their faculty calling for research results to be published in "journals promoting widespread, reasonable-cost (my emphasis) access to the information." (Falk, 2003). For the Earth Sciences, this is a good reflection of the general attitudes and feelings.

So where does that leave us? At the moment, the perception is that support for open access and self-archiving institutional repositories from Earth Scientists is low. The academic community still needs convincing that these are viable alternatives. The unknown costs are problematical and the management structure for migrating from one publishing model to another is not yet sufficiently proven. Change is undeniably on the way but what guise it will take is as yet unclear.

Cambridge has one buffer that can and regularly does mean that dramatic changes in the way we do things are not forced upon us. I refer, of course, to the alumni. The Earth Sciences Department is not unique in having schemes afoot to encourage previous occupants of library seats and departmental lecture halls to part with money to help set up library funds for the future. Could we be accused of hiding our head in the sand? Maybe so! But as far as the library is concerned we are in a privileged position of having excellent teaching and research collections. Those collections have enabled previous students to achieve and attain goals that now put them in a position to provide us with support to further enable future generations of students and researchers. It may delay the necessity for exploring the dramatic changes that the open access movement proposes, but it gives us the time to sift the good from the bad. With alternatives from the learned societies waiting in the wings, the stage direction, for the moment, must read "Exit left open access".

Libby Tilley

References -part of a selected bibliography

Cambridge University Library (2004)
Scientific Publications: Free for all?

Falk, H (2004)
The revolt against journal publishers (The electronic library 22, 184-187)

Friend, F.J. (2004)
How can there be open access to journal articles? (Serials 17,37-40)

Harnad, S. (2003)
Open access to peer-reviewed research through author/institution self-archiving: maximising research impact by maximizing online access
In: Law, D. & J. Andrews (eds) Digital libraries: policy planning and practice Ashgate publishing (

Spedding, V. (2004)
Open access. Will learned societies signal the change? (Research information 11, 16-18)

van Andel, TH (2003)
Unconformities: fear and loathing in the library (GeoCam 7,10-11)

Veltrop, J. (2003)
Should scholarly societies embrace open access (or is it the kiss of death)? (Learned publishing 16, 167 -169)

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Background to the survey

This year, Selwyn College Library has undertaken a review of the journals we currently subscribe to. The year-on-year price increases of a number of our journals can no longer be absorbed by our journals budget, which is likely to remain static for the foreseeable future. As the most expensive journal we currently take, our subscription to Nature became the subject of some debate. It was decided with our Natural Science Directors of Studies to undertake a small survey, or straw poll, of our undergraduates, in order to inform any decision about our future subscription to Nature.

The survey

The survey was undertaken in order to gain information on the usage of Nature in the college library amongst Natural Science undergraduates; to compare this with how the respondents used Nature elsewhere in the University; and to gauge whether the respondents were in favour of cancelling our subscription. The survey was sent out before the beginning of the exam term, hence we kept it as brief as possible. It consisted of six simple questions, for which respondents were given a range of responses to choose from. Open-ended further comments were invited at the end of each question, as well as with a final question for any further general comments.

It was agreed to circulate the survey by email, this being the format the majority of students consider most convenient. 27 replies were received (18 of whom were biological scientists), from a total of 86 Natural Science undergraduates, a response rate of slightly below a third.

Key findings of the survey

Resulting actions

With only 5 respondents from 27 being in favour of keeping Nature, it was agreed, in consultation with Directors of Studies, to cancel our subscription. We also agreed to student requests to keep our existing collection of Nature, and it was noted that, on the whole, first and second year students require textbooks rather than journals in the college library.

Wider implications

The decision to cancel Nature was taken due to financial constraints, and because consultation with our users demonstrated that this journal was not being widely used. Given these factors, cancellation was the only realistic option. However, it is important to bear in mind when making such a decision that free online access to periodicals such as Nature, which users currently benefit from, is not guaranteed in the future. Furthermore, we are aware that scope exists for future developments in pooling periodicals resources across the University (see Peter Fox's discussion paper on the co-ordination of library resources, May 2004), which could potentially offer users a greater breadth of information resources than at present. If this became the model adopted by all Cambridge libraries, it is possible that one day unilateral cancellation of a journal, such as in our case, would become a thing of the past. The challenge presented to us all is how to achieve this model in an equitable way, whilst also maintaining the ease of access that users across the University currently experience.

Michael P. Wilson

Appendix: the text of the questionnaire

Dear Selwyn scientist.

We're currently undertaking a review of the journals the College Library subscribes to, in order to make sure we spend our funds on journals that students want and need. As part of this review, we would like to consult you about our subscription to Nature, which at £800 per year is the most expensive science journal we take. We would be very grateful if you could spare just a minute or two to complete the following brief questionnaire.

All replies will be dealt with strictly in confidence, and no individuals will be identified in the findings. Your views and time are very much appreciated.

1. Please state whether you're studying physical or biological science.

2. Were you aware that the College Library subscribes to Nature? (Yes / No). Please add any further comments.

3. How often have you consulted Nature in the College Library this academic year? (Every week / Most weeks / Sometimes / Now and again / Never). Please add any further comments.

4. How often have you consulted Nature somewhere else other than the College Library (for e.g. in a different library)? (Every week / Most weeks / Sometimes / Now and again / Never). Please add any further comments.

5. Nature is available online to Cambridge students free of charge, from any web-browser in the @cam domain. Would you consider using, or do you already use, the online version of Nature instead of the paper copy? (Yes / Yes, provided training and support is available / Yes, but only as a trial in the first instance / No, I would only use Nature online in conjunction with the paper copy / No). Please add any further comments.

6. Would you be in favour of cancelling the College's subscription to Nature, given that the online version is freely available? (Yes / No / Don't know). Please add any further comments.

6a. If you answered YES, would you be in favour of replacing Nature with New Scientist, a less expensive, general interest science journal, which is not currently available online? (Yes / No / Don't know). Please add any further comments.

7. Please add any further comments you may have about our subscription to Nature, scientific journals in general, or using scientific journals online.

Please reply as soon as possible, and in case you've not checked you're e-mail recently, no later than April 23rd.

Many thanks, the Library team.

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We were talking just now about the cost of journals. Let's hear from some editors about what we get for our money. Interviews by Aidan Baker.

Clare Sansom
Science journals and science magazines

The editorial board of a peer-reviewed academic journal like Cancer genomics and proteomics is very different from the board of a magazine like The Biochemist I'm on both.

Peer review means we study the submissions and determine whether their scope and standard make them fit for publication in the journal. But boards are large and academic journals also call on scientists who are not board members for this task. So, for any individual board member, the academic journal takes very little time. The Biochemist is more time consuming - I probably spend 1-2 weeks a year on this. It is much more like journalism, even though most board members are full time academics with an interest in science communication. Our job is to decide on themes for issues and individual articles, suggest contributors, and very often to write copy ourselves.

I don't think the academic boards of peer-reviewed journals ever meet in full - there are too many of us, and we live and work in many countries (and several continents). Almost all communication is electronic. But the board of The Biochemist meets twice a year, for about three hours.

Academic journals receive far more papers than they can publish. The Biochemist has the opposite problem. Scientists are busy people and writing for an informal magazine is pretty low down the priority list. They need many reminders.

A paper in an academic journal is expected to be the research scientists' own work, so sub-editing by staff is not allowed. In any case, these articles are often so technical and arcane that almost anyone who tried to sub one would introduce new mistakes. The reviewers are expected to spot errors and inconsistencies and ask the original authors to correct them. I sometimes end a review by asking the authors to run their paper past a native English speaker before re-submission. Articles in The Biochemist, on the other hand, are expected to be readable and understandable by non-specialists, and they are subbed to make them so.

The Biochemist published my first articles as a part-time freelance journalist. I was lucky to meet its (then) academic editor, Frank Burnet, at a British Association meeting the year before I went freelance, we got talking, and it turned out that he had been looking, unsuccessfully, for a computer expert who knew how to write! Armed with these few pieces of published writing, I was able to go out and advertise to other journals. I now earn, I would think, about a quarter of my income from freelance writing, so it was a big step forward!

The web has made the job of reviewers considerably easier. Instead of filling in paper questionnaires about the suitability of the papers (sometimes in longhand) we now fill in web forms. This is smoother and less time consuming. But our job descriptions have barely changed. Some peer-reviewed journals are now online only and many others have online versions, but they will always need reviewers.

Open access? Speaking as a scientist, I would like the research to be freely available to all who find it of value, but speaking as a journalist I am worried. What would happen to public understanding of science if publishers as we know them were to disappear?

David Barrowclough
Graduate journal

Archaeological review from Cambridge is produced by a committee of 8 volunteers. Each has specific tasks - eg publicity. The majority of the jobs require work sporadically - such as organising book reviews (the book review editor). However, the work of the Treasurer, Subscriptions Officer and Editor (split between Mary Chester-Kadwell and myself) require that we put in more time. Mary and I between us spend a full day each week on ARC, but during vacations this increases to a couple of days - normally at the weekend. This is because we are responsible for final production of each volume - typesetting, layout, page numbering - preparing the text so that it follows the house-style. Mary tends to do the computer-based jobs whist I liaise with the printers, organise proofs, argue about money! The Treasurer, Sarah Ralph, keeps track of money - from subscribers and one off back-issue sales. This is a pretty involved job, as there always seem to be queries, especially from overseas distributors. Similarly Grace Barretto-Tesoro who looks after circulations is always busy with new subscribers.

Each volume has a theme, eg Art and Archaeology, and a theme editor, who is responsible for collecting the contributions. This helps narrow things down a lot, but the aim is that it should not be tied to a given geographical location or time period. My volume on Art had contributions from Australia (Aboriginal art), Central America, and Europe. It included anthropological work from the 21st century and also research on the possibility that Neanderthals produced art.

We go though each volume with a fine-tooth comb to check that the house-style has been followed. Bibliographies are a nightmare, for some reason. Converting the A4 typed page we receive into the format of the journal used to take a full week. Mary now has this down to a fine art and completed the last volume over a weekend. Circulation was falling because the advertised production of two issues a year had not been met - with only one volume having come out in the previous 18 months. Mary and I were determined that we must stick to 2 volumes per year to establish credibility. In the last year we produced 4 volumes, sticking to our commitment to produce two per year, and then catching up with the volumes that should have been printed in the previous years. It was hard work, but probably our greatest achievement.

ARC is bought by every university archaeology department in the world - just about! Pretty well anyone who is anyone in archaeology has written for ARC over the years. But we are also keen to include new talent from the graduate community in Cambridge - I like to think we are a shop window for the Department.

I hate those on-line journals. I like to turn a page and hold a book in my hand. Computers are just not convenient enough. Printing off the articles costs more than buying the book! We do have a web page for people to look at, and it is used well. We also have plans to sell a CD ROM of journals from years ago, which are out of print but still in demand. Sheffield University Archaeology Department had an on-line journal, and it became defunct after a few years - being on-line somehow reduces the authority of what you publish. I think this is a warning to us all.

Ann Irving
House journal of small professional organization

Focus is published by the International Library and Information Group within CILIP. Article authors are often prompted by ILIG events. As we publish articles and news, I am continuously scanning all media for news items. These are copied and pasted into a folder, and then edited to fit whatever space we have. News items which refer to websites means I make plenty of internet checks. But all items need assessing for their relevance to 'my' readership and some harmonising of the various texts. And we get some unsolicited articles. ILIG's business - minutes, reports of meetings and events etc. - must be included. And we include book reviews, for which authors have to be found. Many authors need reminding as copy deadlines arrive.

Standard journal page layout means that all articles need to be massaged to fit the parameters. So many lines per page, so many characters per line, spaces between paragraphs or sentences, font style and size, capitalisation, use of acronyms and abbreviations - all of these necessitate work on the text. Then I work on grammar and punctuation, and I precis the over-verbose authors if I need to save space. References may need to be checked as well as standardised. Any web references need to be checked. Because our journal is international, care is needed to avoid any overtly political offences, and care too is needed over assumptions that authors may make about how much readers will know about particular developments in the author's country. Length is important but not so vital because the news items can be reduced to make space.

I keep a file of the details of all the articles, with volume, issue and page numbers, publishers of items reviewed and their requirements for copies. All of this is updated as each issue goes out. I keep a copy of all the address labels for each issue, full details of all authors and articles, a spreadsheet of all the postage (which countries, cost per issue, totals etc) which is signed by my postmaster as a receipt for my cheque and then sent to ILIG treasurer so I can be repaid.

Then everyone's least favourite job has to be done. If you don't keep records in order, your omissions will haunt you. I send out copies of any reviews published to the relevant publishers, and send complimentary copies to authors. As soon as an issue has been mailed out, this triggers the deposit of the previous issue onto ILIG's website. I file everything that has lived on my study floor for the whole period, and vacuum up all the detritus. Then I create a new folder on my laptop for the next issue and have a breather for a few weeks before the process starts all over again.

And like many other editors of professional special interest group journals, I do all of this without pay. All you librarians have to do is mark it off and shelve it!

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William James Mills (1951-2004)

William Mills, who died on 8 May, was Librarian and Keeper of Collections at the Scott Polar Research Institute. His interests included soccer, astronomy, and lute-playing. What puts him into the super-league is this: after his appointment at the Scott Polar Library in 1989, he not only ran the Library with distinction, but also made himself a recognized expert on the polar regions in his own right.

William's achievements as a librarian included his tenure as secretary, for many years, of the international Polar Libraries Colloquy, and his work (with SPRI's then Director, Dr John Heap) on the project that let the Institute's Library grow into the Shackleton Memorial Library. That library won the RIBA award for 1999. His own contribution to the field was the two-volume Exploring polar frontiers: a historical encyclopaedia, which was published in 2003 and has become the standard reference work on the subject. William's pleasure in the achievement, and his knowledge of the appreciation it had won, were things that lightened his final illness.

Formal recognition included the naming of the Mills Glacier in Western Antarctica, three weeks before William died. Following a suggestion by Pam Davis, many Cambridge librarians contributed messages of their own to William at that time.

He is survived by his wife, Dione, and three children. Our sympathy goes out to them.

Source: Times obituary

Dr. Nicholas Hadgraft, 1955- 2004

Dr. Nicholas Hadgraft died suddenly on July 4th 2004. His unexpected and all too early death has deprived the world of book conservation of one of its most effective, friendly and hardworking proponents.

Nick began his career in book conservation in 1984 when he was appointed as Conservation Assistant to the conservation project in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He came to conservation as a Chartered Librarian, after first gaining a BA Hons in History, a Diploma in Library and Information Studies and an M.A. in Historical Bibliography. One of Nick's many notable achievements at Corpus Christi was his organisation of the 1988, 'Parker Library Conservation Project Conference'. The successful conference and the resulting publication of the work of those involved, modestly entitled 'Conservation and Preservation in Small Libraries' is the compilation of the work of many. That is the way Nick worked: he involved those who were experts in their field and loved to share with others. He carried this inclusive approach right through his conservation career, and worked on many collaborative projects.

Whilst still based at Corpus Christi and remaining fully committed to the Parker Library, Nick joined Nancy Bell, as the first two students to train with Christopher Clarkson at West Dean College. After successfully completing the West Dean course, and gaining a Diploma in Bookbinding and the Care of Books, Nick set up and ran the workshop which was at the centre of the Cambridge Colleges Conservation Consortium. In 1998, the year in which he gained his PhD from the University of London with his thesis, 'Fifteenth Century Book Structures', Nick made the choice to set up on his own, at his house in Great Shelford. In 1999 Nick was awarded an Honorary Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University, North Carolina.

For many years Nick taught at the Montefiascone Summer School. He loved Italy and the 'Monte Project' had a very special place in his heart. Nick was in his element with fellow book lovers, teaching about his passion, and he made many friends there, from all over the world. He particularly enjoyed those courses in which he could draw on his considerable knowledge of medieval book structures. He also taught students the value of good recording methods, never insisting that 'his way' was the only way, or indeed the best way. His natural eye for detail and the discipline he applied to this innate ability served him and the profession well: one major contribution to the Saint Catherine Library Conservation Project was in helping Dr. Nicholas Pickwoad develop a condition assessment methodology.

In July, 2000 Nick was appointed Research Fellow at the University of the Arts, London, working for the Saint Catherine Library Conservation Project. As well as his work on the condition assessment, his range of activities included a major input into the development of stainless steel boxes for the protection of the manuscripts. His skilful co-ordination of the various individuals and companies involved in the boxing project bears testimony to his ability to liaise and facilitate, always making the various parties feel at ease and consistently communicating the value of their contribution.

In the six years he had worked in private practice Nick continued to develop. His client list had grown and the range of work he became involved in saw him expanding his knowledge yet further to meet the challenges of new projects. Nick worked on projects for the National Trust, for a number of Cambridge colleges and academic departments and institutions and for a growing number of private clients. One area of significant professional development saw Nick respond to the structural idiosyncrasies of the Middle Eastern codex: he worked successfully on some demanding projects which included the conservation of Islamic books and many of their 'related' structures. As well as new challenges, Nick continued to perfect his work with medieval parchment, working on books and notably charters and large pedigrees and even an oil painting on parchment. Such was his experience and expertise that he had become one of the best proponents of the conservation of parchment.

Nick's contribution to book conservation was immense, and his passing is a great loss to the many who knew him as a fellow professional, teacher, mentor and friend. Indeed, our loss is not just professional: Nick was one of the nicest and easiest people to work with, and always generous with his time, knowledge and hospitality. It is impossible to do justice to his life within the constraints of a formal obituary, and there is so much more that we will remember over the coming months. Both as individuals and as a profession, we shall often recall Nick's life and miss his company and his abilities. He touched us all and his touch has left a deep and lasting impression.

Jim Bloxam
Nicholas Pickwoad

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All change at the Haddon Library in Archaeology and Anthropology. Ruth Winch left in June, after some five and a half years; everyone's good wishes go with her for her new life in York as Ruth MacLean. Ruth's place as Assistant Librarian at the Haddon has been taken, in a well-deserved internal promotion, by Barbara Murray. The Haddon has also lost Sarah Dentan, who's moved onwards and upwards to the post of Senior Assistant at the Seeley History Library. For who got Sarah's and Barbara's old jobs – see below.

Two neighbours on West Road have had the builders in! The Radzinowicz Library, Institute of Criminology, re-opened at 9am on Wednesday 1st September, in its new home at the back of the Sidgwick site. Helen Krarup hopes to show off her new library to fellow-professionals at the end of the Michaelmas term. Meanwhile, even by telephone, her account of it is enough to excite envy. The Radzinowicz now has a new security system – just in case any criminologists were thinking of starting up on their own – and around twice the space it had before.

The new English Faculty Library can provide seating space for 120 people. The whole new Faculty building was funded by the University, the Higher Education Funding Council, and many generous donors, designed by Allies and Morrison, built by Wates, clad in terracotta by Schneider, and re-opened on 29 September by alumnus Griff Rhys Jones. Sandra Cromey can tell you more.

We trust that neither of those places will suffer as the Language Centre did. In January, the Centre moved into new premises on Downing Place and soon found tiles falling from the ceiling. This meant moving out again for six weeks in the summer – the library offices set up in the teaching rooms, and the library stock stayed where it was but had to be sealed. However, the tiles are now fixed, and Liisa Cleary is back welcoming all comers.

Christine Ratcliff of Physiology has had two adventures. She has been seconded to cover 80% of Mariella Pellegrino's job while Mariella is at Stanford, California, for a year (Mariella will do the remaining 20% herself, by laptop); and Christine's base library in Physiology had to close for urgent improvements to the lighting. She asked me to put in a plug for the electrician, Glyn Manning – but who am I to put in a plug for an electrician? While Christine is at Philosophy, the rest of Physiology's work is being done by Katja Airaksinen and Sarah Wilcock. Katja and Sarah are famous for the CATALOG website ( – see elsewhere in this issue.

The Fitzwilliam Museum has reorganized: the Library is now separate from the Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books, and Liz Fielden has moved up from the rank of Senior Library Assistant to that of Assistant Keeper (Librarian). The new Senior Library Assistant is Lewis Tiffany (formerly at the Computer Lab), and the new Library Assistant is Kate Heawood.

August and September see the annual changeover of graduate trainees in several Cambridge libraries. Amongst the departing trainees, Katja Airaksinen (Trinity), Sarah Wilcock (St John's), and Louisa Evans (Christ's) will all be going on to library school at UCL, while Anna Baines (Emmanuel) heads off to Sheffield University. From 2 August, Angela Fitzpatrick (Newnham) joins the Caius glamour gang as cataloguer. Angela will be working at Caius for 6 months, officially ending on 31 January 2005, and plans to go on to Library school later that year. Roxanne Macleod (New Hall) starts a new job as a library assistant in the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS in September.

New trainees include: Eleanor Rideout (St John's), who has degrees in history and IT from Glasgow University and who has previously worked for Falkirk Libraries; Liz Osman (Trinity), who has just completed a BA in English language at Trinity College, Oxford; Nicola Perry (New Hall) a modern languages graduate of Bristol University, with experience of working with DEFRA in Stafford, working in the area of farming and animal health and welfare; Eleanor White (Christ's) who has a degree in geography from Sheffield University; Caroline Blowers (Newnham) who has just completed an MPhil in classics at Pembroke; and last, but not least, Charmian Oldman (Emmanuel) who was awarded a BA in English with Psychology from Anglia Polytechnic University in 2003, since when she has been working part-time at the Norwich Millennium Library.

Suzanne Jennings, formerly at the Faculty of Divinity Library, joins Churchill College as Library Assistant from 1 September. Wolfson College's Lee Librarian, Hilary Pattison, is leaving Cambridge for Magdalen College Oxford. Our good wishes go with her.

Jill Whitelock has left the Whipple, having been appointed as the Head of Rare Books at the UL. The Whipple is celebrating its diamond jubilee year, having been founded in 1944, and has further cause for celebrations, as we congratulate their Library Assistant, Dawn Moutrey, on the completion of her City and Guilds Award in Library & Information Services this year.

St John's College bids farewell to part time library assistant, Eda Lesk, who has returned to the USA after nearly 30 years in England. We wish her and her husband Arthur well in Pennsylvania. Her successor is Pam Johnson, who has varied experience in business, school, and academic libraries, and enjoys regular visits to the gym.

St John's celebrated a new arrival of a different sort on 1 May 2004, with the birth of a baby son, Finn, for Librarian's Assistant Frank Bowles and his partner Yvonne. Those of you who remember former Special Collections Librarian Elizabeth Quarmby Lawrence may wish to know that she and her husband John had a son Peter on 20 May.

Significant staff changes at the University Library since issue 54 include the departure of Nicola Thwaite as Head of Rare Books and of Isabel Holowaty, Deputy Head of the Reference Department. Nicola moved to Derbyshire with her family and is replaced at the UL by Dr Jill Whitelock, formerly Librarian of the Whipple Museum in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Isabel left to take on the challenges of a new job in Oxford. Joanne Farrant, formerly Chief Library Assistant in European Collections and Cataloguing, was promoted to Head of Materials Processing, a position created as a result of the ongoing restructure, whilst her former post was filled through the promotion of Bettina Rex.

Simon Cage was temporarily promoted from Legal Deposit to work for Tony Harper, Head of Reader Services. Angela Pittock filled the resultant vacancy in Legal Deposit gaining temporary promotion from her post in the Map Room whilst Robert Coulson moved from Materials Processing to fill the Map Room vacancy. Gabrielle Robillard also joins the Reader Services team helping provide a front-of-house service in the Entrance Hall. Meanwhile, Anna Massiou joins the Electronic Services and Systems division, working in the new Digital Resources Area answering IT service enquiries and providing support for electronic collections.

In Periodicals Fiona Grant joined the department on a temporary basis as Deputy Head, covering Sonja van Montfort's brief maternity leave. Svetlana Axenova left for New York and was replaced by Brendan King whilst Stephen Elliot joined the fetching team following the resignation of Matthew Reynolds. Matthew intends doing voluntary work over the summer before starting a degree course in Mathematics. Heather Sayer and James Harmon also joined the library as fetchers. Heather will be based in the West Room and James in Rare Books. James replaces Ben Sorgiovanni whilst Amy Gates replaces Martin Westlake in Manuscripts.

Stella Morley of English Collections and Cataloguing, together with Tanya Zhimbiev, of Materials Processing, leave to take up posts at the Haddon. Stella's replacement, Nicholas Cutler, will be known to staff there having had experience in a number of Cambridge libraries, most recently at the Haddon.

In other departments Stephanie Tilley joins Official Publications, Pyeongeok An joins the Japanese department and Yasmin Faghihi joined the Near Eastern Department to work with Arabic and Hebrew material. Robert Cunningham makes a welcome addition to the General Maintenance team filling the position of Security Patroller.

The Medical Library welcomes both Jane Leary and Maggie Twyman. Jane joins the library as Collection Development Librarian working alongside fellow Deputy Anne Collins whilst Maggie will be working as a library assistant in the Inter Library Loans section.

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) project saw the departure of Kate Sharp on maternity leave, a vacancy filled by the temporary promotion of colleague Sacha Girling who, in turn, was replaced by new staff member Willow Silvani. Robert Steiner, employed by the project for the last 12 months, leaves to return to his position in the Manuscripts Department. In Greensleeves, David Horne, who worked on the project for a number of years, initially during study breaks, left to take up a position at Homerton and was replaced by Nataliya Pivnenko formerly of the Seeley Historical Library. Finally the DSpace project welcomed Jim Downing while the LEADIRS project bid farewell to Rohan Holley who left for New Zealand where she will be doing voluntary work for the next few months.

And some UL babies. Carmen Cheung, of the English Cataloguing Department, delivered a baby girl, named Yat-Nam, on 19 January, Sonja van Montfort, Deputy Head of Periodicals, gave birth to son Finn on 19 April and Kate Sharp, of the RCS project, delivered daughter Imogen on 3 August. Finally Rachel Oakes, of Material Processing, was greatly relieved to bring long overdue son Samuel Thomas into the world on 16 August. Staff at the UL wish Carmen, Sonja, Kate, Rachel and their respective families all the very best.

Congratulations go to Neil Hudson of the Periodicals Department on his appointment to the post of Vice-Marshal of the Proctors. Neil had held the position of Acting Vice-Marshal during 2002-03. Wendy Aylett, of Library Offices, is also offered our congratulations on successfully completing an AAT accounting qualification making her a qualified Accounting Technician.

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On 3rd June Cambridge graduate trainees launched their website CATALOG: Cambridge Trainee Librarians' Online Group ( CATALOG is dedicated to promoting graduate traineeships within college and departmental libraries of The University of Cambridge. The site was designed and created by the seven graduate trainees of 2003-2004: Katja Airaksinen, Anna Baines, Louisa Evans, Angela Fitzpatrick, Lyndsey Goddard, Roxanne Mcleod and Sarah Wilcock. The website is currently being handed over to a new intake of Cambridge library trainees with the hope that it will be a source of information and research for the new members of staff as well as all those potentially interested in starting a library career.

The initial concept behind the website was to create a project that would allow the Cambridge trainees the opportunity to work together and develop their own HTML skills, which at the beginning of their traineeships ranged from very minimal to non-existent. By attending HTML courses run by the University's Computing Services, brainstorming and trial and error, the trainees developed a site that gives a comprehensive view of life as a Cambridge graduate trainee. The site includes individual job descriptions and views of current and previous trainees, including personal experiences and what individuals gained from their traineeship. In addition to providing information about the traineeship posts available in Cambridge, CATALOG expanded during its development to incorporate information about library school, careers, relevant professional groups and for those new to the area – life in Cambridge.

As such, in addition to allowing the trainees practical experience of developing a website CATALOG can be used as a valuable source of information for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Librarianship. The trainees of 2003-2004 wanted to create a comprehensive site that also provided scope for development, allowing future trainees to benefit from their project. What with a yearly turnover of trainees and an ever-changing professional and technological climate, the trainees of 2003-2004 are confident that there will be plenty to keep the successors of CATALOG busy.

Sarah Wilcock

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I returned to Cambridge at the end of April after a year's leave spent as an assistant with L'Arche Edinburgh, one of an international federation of Christian communities for people with learning disabilities founded in France by Jean Vanier. 'Living and working with mentally handicapped people seemed precisely the opposite of what I had been trained and qualified to do,' Henri Nouwen wrote, but for me, as for him, the experience was life changing. The Edinburgh community has two houses, The Skein and Creelha, each accommodating four learning disabled adults and their assistants. Life in L'Arche is busy and the role of an assistant infinitely varied, as the following brief extracts from my journal illustrate.

28 August

The morning's main events were an expedition to the garden of one of our supporters in Duddingston to pick plums followed by a visit to a remarkable woman and her handicapped sister in Portobello, founder members of the local Faith and Light group for families with a disabled member. Sally, the handicapped one, is a tiny, frail person who is concerning us all because she hasn't eaten anything solid since May. She was much devoted to Bertie, one of The Skein's original core members, who died last autumn. [Sadly, Sally herself died shortly afterwards, and I was very glad I'd had the privilege of meeting her.] I left Portobello for a working lunch at The Skein and an open meeting of the Community Council to discuss the proposal that L'Arche Edinburgh open a third house. Everyone was fired up by the idea.

11 September

Began to re-read The Road to Daybreak, Henri Nouwen's account of his year with L'Arche in Trosly. He captures an important insight. He tells how Nick, an assistant at Daybreak in Toronto, ran a woodwork workshop for four handicapped men: 'He explained how hard it is to do a job well and at the same time keep the needs of the handicapped men uppermost in mind. He wants to become a skillful and efficient carpenter, but realizes that the products of his work are less important than the growing self-esteem of the men he works with. This required a lot of patience and willingness to let others do slowly what you yourself can do rapidly. It means always choosing work in which people much less capable than yourself can participate.'

     The most regular work we do alongside the core members is cooking the evening meal, and each handicapped person has his or her special evening when he or she chooses the menu and helps prepare the food. It's important to honour this, but sometimes the assistants may take over the planning and even the cooking, because they're under pressure to work quickly and safely in the hazardous environment of the kitchen and have the meal on the table promptly at six o'clock. Thursday evening is particularly pressurized because the minibus can turn up to collect people for Faith and Light as early as 6.30. Some of our handicapped people are easier to cook with than others; Jonathan is very good at chopping vegetables and eager to help in the kitchen, while George really only wants to cook because helping prepare supper means you don't have to wash up afterwards. He is a lot happier working in the garden.

17 September

A busy day and a typical Wednesday, with the team meeting in the morning and house meeting with prayers in the evening. The team meeting is a precious time when the assistants are free to review the week's work and to plan ahead. It can last for up to three hours. We begin with prayer and a sharing of how the past week has been for each of us. Then we read the Community newssheet and go through the 'Things to Read File', which contains all manner of documents, directives and communications. Today it included a pastoral letter from Jean Vanier. Then we look at the running of the house under such headings as 'Fire', 'Maintenance', 'Finance' and 'Medication', and then at 'referencing', or our individual responsibilities for making arrangements, keeping personal diaries and preparing personal plan updates for the core members. Alison is undergoing a trial period at the Garvald workshops (a Rudolph Steiner establishment in Edinburgh) this week, with a view to working there permanently when a place becomes vacant and funding is arranged for her by Social Services. We need to arrange transport for her from The Skein and an assistant to accompany her in the mornings, and we need to start her off learning the bus route home as she will eventually travel independently.

19 November

Kirsty has toothache and we're all very worried about her, because as a disabled person she needs to get a certificate from the doctor saying she's exempt from dental charges before anybody will do any work on her teeth, and this seems to take some time and effort. It's completely scandalous: she's been on the waiting list for treatment at the dental hospital for nearly a year. Like many people with learning disabilities, she has a fear of dentists and opening her mouth in the chair and so needs a general anesthetic. She's been moved up the list from 'soon' to 'urgent', but even so might have to wait several weeks for treatment. Fortunately, she seems to have a very high pain threshold and can tolerate what for others would be impossible.

30 November

I'm learning a lot about people with learning disabilities. I'd hoped to take Ingrid to the Advent Carol Service at St Mary's Cathedral in the evening instead of her usual service and wrote to her to ask if she'd like to go and to say that I'd pick her up earlier than usual at quarter to six. I'd heard that she'd agreed, but when I got to Creelha at twenty to six I was surprised to find Ingrid still in bed. It was reported that she was indeed meaning to go, so I took my coat off and sat down patiently. At ten past six, Ingrid got up; by twenty to seven she was ready to leave the house. By this time the Carol Service had begun so there was no option but to take her to her usual service at St George's West. We got there with five minutes to spare. Ingrid's autistic mental clock had timed the journey perfectly.

27 December

A wonderful afternoon drinking mulled mead and singing carols at Ali and Philip Newell's magnificent flat in Inverleith Terrace. We were a large gathering of L'Arche, family members and supporters. Anthony, Marguerite, Kirsten and Connie provided the music on guitar, fiddle and recorders. Ali is an Anglican priest and a member of the Community's pastoral team and her husband Philip is a Church of Scotland minister. I first met them in 1990 on a visit to Iona when Philip was Warden at the Abbey and led our pilgrimage around the island, but I didn't get to know them at all at that time. Now here we were united as one family in L'Arche, celebrating Christmas together. My own pilgrimage had brought me to an unexpected place of joy.

Sheila Cameron

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Issue 56, Lent 2005, will be on "The collection you didn't expect to be managing." What are the surprises in your collection? Children's books? Sound recordings? Skeletons? Send your stories to Kathryn McKee by 31 December.

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CULIB is edited by Aidan Baker (Haddon Library; 01223 333506) and Kathryn Mckee (St John's College; 01223 338663), and is produced and distributed by Fiona Grant (University Library; 01223 333025).