Press Release 20/2001
1. Februar 2001
Combatting the Spiral of Rising Subscription prices for Scientific
Scientific U.S. Libraries Co-operate With Bielefeld Periodical DOCUMENTA
The SPARC alliance, a world wide association of eminent research centers
and scientific libraries with membership of all the famous American universities
has assessed the scientific periodical DOCUMENTA MATHEMATICA, which has
been published in Bielefeld for five years to be a “Leading Edge” periodical,
and established a partnership.
SPARC (an acronym for “The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition”) is an organisation which has set itself the goal to combat
the spiral of rising subscription prices for scientific periodicals.
For several years, there has been an excessive inflation of subscription
prices in the field of scientific publication. Yearly increases between
12 and 16 percent and more in the course of the last five years abound,
as compared to a general inflation of 2 percent in most of the Western
nations. The budgets of scientific libraries have been heavily burdened
by this on an international scale. The market for publishing science is
being dominated by a small number of international publishers.
Electronic methods of publication and the internet have now handed over
the means of production to the scientists themselves. A large number of
science periodicals depending on these novel academic resources have been
SPARC intends to encourage competition in the market of scientific publication
by promoting scientific periodicals which profit from the new forms of
communication to make leading publications accessible to a large public
at low cost.
One of these periodicals is in mathematics DOCUMENTA MATHEMATICA which
was initiated in 1996 by the German Association of Mathematicians and has
been published at the University of Bielefeld for the last five years.
After SPARC had selected one periodical each in physics and chemistry
for the leading edge program, DOCUMENTA MATHEMATICA has been honored by
being chosen for mathematics within this program. The said periodical acquired
international renown in 1998 by publishing the Conference Proceedings of
the International Congress of Mathematicians which takes place every four
years, lastly in Berlin. The proceedings were published as a three-volume
special edition in excellent quality at a price which was less than half
of that of former issues which always had been produced commercially.
Even at this low price, it was possible to have a financial profit which
was used to essentially contribute towards establishing a new science award.
This use of resources will certainly be a model for how to serve science.
For further please contact:
Prof. Dr. Ulf Rehmann, Faculty of Mathematics, University of
Bielefeld Telefon 0521/106-5039.
Press and Information Office, 01-02-2001