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> I am planning to write to the ASA requesting that they give

> members the option of not receiving the journal, and paying

> an appropriately reduced membership fee.

The following fourteen auditory list members (listed below) have
written to me in support of the above proposal.

Bill Gardner <billg@media.mit.edu>
Bill Woods <wsw@buenga.bu.edu>
James Beauchamp <beaucham@uxh.cso.uiuc.edu>
Judith Brown <Judith.Brown@ircam.fr>
Bob Carlyon <bobc@epvax.sussex.ac.uk>
Bernice Laden <bladen@u.washington.edu>
Krishna Govindarajan <krishna@park.bu.edu>
Rebecca Mercuri <mercuri@gradient.cis.upenn.edu>
David Rosenthal <dfr@brazil.imrf.or.jp>
Andrew Lea <andrew@hip.atr.co.jp>

Barry Eggen <eggenjh@prl.philips.nl>
Dik Hermes <hermes@prl.philips.nl>
Greg Sandell  <sandell@epunix.sussex.ac.uk>
Dirk Povel <POVEL@nici.kun.nl>

Two of the above indicated that they would would be in favor of the
option, but would not take the option themselves. Two others wrote
that they had resigned from the ASA in order to avoid receiving the


Three respondents opposed the proposed option.

Rebecca Mercuri <mercuri@gradient.cis.upenn.edu> wrote:

> For years I believe you could request JASA on microfiche. This

> would certainly spare some trees, and yet provide the subscribers

> with a copy of the journal for reference (readers are cheap, I

> bought an army surplus one for $10). I think this has always been

> an optional way to be a member, but the price of membership isn't

> reduced I believe. Costs of printing and mailing JASA are

> probably not that much per year per member, any discount to

> membership is bound to be only slight. The costs of running the

> organization is probably the bulk of the membership fee. I could

> see maybe a $20 discount to members at most, but maybe not
> even that. I wouldn't want my name added to the letter but you

> could make some effort to encourage members to elect the

> microfiche option (if they still have it, I dropped my membership

> in ASA a few years back entirely). One of the main reasons for

> joining a professional organization is to receive the journal

> directly, so I can't see many people dropping the journal.

> Alternate methods of receiving it (CD-ROM, on-line, microfiche)

> are probably better incentives to keep membership rolls up and

> yet expedite distribution and conservation of resources.

Larry Feth <feth@shs.ohio-state.edu> wrote:

> Your message to the Auditory list in which you plan to ask

> the ASA to give members the option of not receiving the

> journal has several flaws in the logic.  Yes many members

> can read it in libraries, but if the member subsidy is

> removed, the library rate will be much higher that the

> already inflated rate.  I think the option to not receive it

> without a decrease in dues is acceptable. You as a member of

> the ASA are expected to subsidize the journal.  You didn't

> think those voluntary page charges did it, did you?

> An alternative might be to have "your" copy delivered to a

> fellow acoustician in Eastern Europe, Asia or other

> economically disadvantaged areas.  They are often unable to

> afford membership rates.

> This opinion is not based on the fact that I am one of the

> Associate Editors for the journal.  I think your request is

> based on incomplete information, and if the request were

> granted it could seriously damage one of the better journals

> in the field.

Along similar lines, Kathy Barsz <BARSZ@uno.cc.geneseo.edu> wrote:

> I could only support your suggestion about reduced ASA membership
> for those not wishing to receive the journal if it wouldn't make

> the journal more expensive for those wishing to receive it

> (because the cost would be spread across fewer people) or those

> wishing to publish in it (because of increased page charges). I

> would suggest instead that those not needing it donate it to

> libraries that can't afford it and are at  institutions with

> people working in the field. I remember Houtsma pointing
> out that very few European libraries can afford the journal.


Here are some additional suggestions that I received.

Hugh Secker-Walker <hugh@ear.mit.edu> and Krishna Govindarajan

<krishna@PARK.BU.EDU> suggested sending only the table of contents of
each issue. (I would suggest sending the abstracts as well.)

Robert Zatorre <MD37@musica.mcgill.ca> suggested that the journal be
split into two parts, say, physical acoustics vs.
biological/psychological acoustics.

Josh Krieger <joshk@bbn.com> and Pierre Divenyi
<marva4!EarLab.UUCP!pierre@ucdavis.edu> suggested that JASA articles
be made available electronically. Pierre pointed out that the charge
for that privilege may be just as high as (if not higher than) the
current membership+JASA fee.

Greg Sandell <sandell@epunix.sussex.ac.uk> wrote that

> Point no. 2 [Many members read only a small fraction of

> each issue], while true, is probably not relevant.

> We don't want to send the impression that we believe JASA

> to consist of a lot of irrelevant articles.  I'd rather

> affirm that JASA does a great job of addressing all the

> different areas of acoustics, from the obscure to the

> well-known, and that large issues are a price we gladly

> pay for that plurality.


I now plan to write to the ASA in a week or so, including most of the
above information, and suggesting that the following two additional
options appear on future membership forms:

* Please send my copy of JASA to an acoustician or library who cannot
afford ASA membership (regular membership fee).
* Please do not send me the journal at all (reduced fee).

In both the above cases, the member would receive only the contents
and abstracts of each issue. ***NB***: The reduction in membership
fee for those not receiving the journal need not correspond to the
"real cost" per member of the journal (whatever that may be), but to
some appropriate fraction of that cost (say, one half). That way,
members of ASA who chose not to receive the journal would still
subsidize it, but to a lesser extent than the journal recipients.

I hope that sounds reasonable. Further suggestions are welcome.

Richard Parncutt