Well, here it is! – our first issue as the new Editors of Serials. It seems an awfully long time since we were asked to take over as Editors, so it is with a sense of relief that we have reached the point of being able to loose our first issue on the world. Having said that it has felt like a long time coming, our job has been made so much easier by the year-long handover period we have had working with the outgoing Editors, Hazel Woodward and Helen Henderson. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude, not only for their help in easing us gently into our new roles but also for building Serials into the internationally recognized journal that we see today and giving us such a strong ‘brand’ to inherit. But, in stepping into H&H's shoes, we know that ‘with power comes responsibility’ – and we are painfully aware of the huge shoes that we have to fill!
We are delighted and extremely fortunate to have been able to bring together a truly international group of industry experts on the Editorial Board, some new and some not so new, who we look forward to working with. But this is also a time for us to pause and say a huge thanks to the members who have recently retired from active service on the Board or come to the end of their term of office. Without them, we would not have the journal that we have come to know and love.
In bringing together this first issue, we have to thank the Editorial Board for all the hard work that they have put in to seeking out authors and topics for articles, in following up those authors and, occasionally, chasing them when deadlines are tight. We will be introducing you to the new members of the Editorial Board over the next few issues, starting with Maurice Kwong and Linda Lindström in this issue.
So, our first issue. In a change to previous issues, we begin with our People in the News feature, which looks at Stephanie (Step) Schmitt, the Interim Director of the Library at the American University of Afghanistan Foundation (AUAF) in Kabul, who talks to us about what it is like to work in one of the most challenging and dangerous regions in the world. This is followed by our Profile of Keith Cole, the Director of Mimas, the nationally-designated data centre based at the University of Manchester which hosts many of the UK's research information resources.
Serials has always been proud to bring you stimulating and provocative articles, and this issue is no exception. We present articles by Cameron Neylon on the challenges facing information professionals who produce or use information research outputs; from Iain Hrynaszkiewicz on the drive for more open data in the sphere of biomedical publishing; and from David Prosser on the challenges of seeking a fairer price for scholarly publishing. Our final article this issue by Mark Stiles is a thought-provoking look at some of the (possible) future models for higher education provision and accreditation in the UK.
We continue our look at the issues surrounding e-book provision, with a write-up by Alison Jones of one of the presentations from the recent UKSG ‘Usercentric’ one-day conference. We have articles by Anders Söderbäck on the work being done with e-books through the Swedish BIBSAM consortium, from Anna Vernon on the E-Books for FE (Further Education) Project in the UK, and Paul Harwood provides an overview of a project carried out in the UK to investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a range of business models for e-textbooks.
Also featured: John Harrington and Simon Bevan's article looks at the Current Research Information System (CRIS) being implemented at Cranfield University and the impact it is having on managing all the University's research publications; Andrew Robinson examines the issues and problems facing societies and their changing relationships with commercial publishers; Kjell Tjensvoll of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC) reflects on his experiences of the EU tendering process in negotiating online access for Norwegian health professionals; whilst Michael Upshall looks at the perils of the tendering process when attempting to build a digital image collection; and Jill Cousins presents an overview of the European collaborative digital project, Europeana, making the case that it is helping to preserve the cultural heritage of Europe through facilitating access to the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.
We are pleased to have a summary of the new UKSG seminar ‘Usage Statistics for Decision Making’ for those who were unable to attend. This well-received new seminar included a number of case studies to illustrate how, in the current difficult economic climate, libraries are increasingly using usage data for both e-journals and e-books to inform their purchasing decisions. Complementing this, we also have Peter Shepherd's article taking a look at the new Journal Usage Factor.
Ross MacIntyre provides our Key Issue, looking at the range of standards that provide a foundation for much of what we do within the industry.
In our Spotlight on People feature we look at a day in the life of government research advisor, Claire Duddy, and Director of digital preservation initiative LOCKSS, Victoria Reich, and we take a very 21st-century peek (or should that be, tweet) into the world of award-winning systems librarian Dave Pattern.
We are sure that you will find the articles interesting and stimulating, but would be interested in hearing what you think. Serials is for, by and about you. If you have been spurred to write a response to one of the articles, or simply have a comment you want to share, don't forget Serials- eNews, lis-e-resources, etc. Who knows, you could end up writing an article for a future issue of Serials!
And finally, we hope you will agree that both UKSG and Serials have continued to reflect and represent the multi-faceted information environment we find ourselves in nowadays, so it is with this in mind that we have launched a competition to find a new name for the journal to reflect this changing scope. Get your thinking caps on and let us know what you think Serials should be called as we move forward. (We will, of course, ensure that the new name is communicated well and that the title change is handled in the proper manner!)
We hope to see many of you at the annual conference, which this year will be held in Harrogate. And so it is now full steam ahead for our next issue in July.