On the serials crisis: changes in publication models and tendencies in subscription costs

SIPOS Anna Magdolna

The subscription prices of scholarly journals have been increasing at a rate faster than the inflation rate for several decades. This is caused by three factors: scholars, journal publishers and libraries. Scholars’ publishing obligations caused an overproduction of publications, and as a result, the quality of publications deteriorated; professional peer review became superficial, and predatory journals appeared. As the number of journals and publications is increasing year by year, this trend will generate pressure for further growth. Another key element of the serials crisis is the increase of subscription costs. Journal prices are rising dramatically, but on different scales in various fields of science. This analysis, based on empirical studies, highlights a contradiction between the offers of the journal market and the acquisitions opportunities of the Hungarian library system. Research findings indicate that the Hungarian library system is falling behind the exponentially growing publication market, and therefore, international serials are modestly represented in Hungarian academic and research libraries.

Keywords: Journal publishing, Journal subscription, Availability, Survey

The e–journal, a state of art

HOLL András

Journal publishing has recently moved to electronic publishing. The advantages of e–journals are that they can be quickly searched, easily copied, transmitted, used anywhere online, and their publication costs are relatively less expensive than would be in print. Open-source and free software products play a major role in improving searchability and transparency. Smaller independent journals (indies) should consider the application of the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software, while for research journals the use of Atypon Literatum platform is worth considering. In 2017, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Library and Information Centre (HAS LIC) launched an OJS platform service inviting Hungarian scientific journals to join the project. The OJS platform supports the publication of independent scholarly journals, their editorial workflow, manuscript management and web publishing activities. An OJS user group, set up recently, provides additional Web services for members.

Keywords: Electronic journal, Editorial work, Open access, Publishing, Software, Open Journal Systems, Library of HAS, Co-operation


Cultural digitization. The printing press was a promise – what about the Internet?

MONOK István

The digital presentation of the cultural heritage of European countries is associated with a number of problems. Without a European cultural policy the digitization strategies of the member states have not been fully developed, and the privatization of public property in culture has dangerous consequences. Cultural institutions are often exposed to the harmful activities of private companies, which acquire ownership of digital copies for business purposes. The lack of clear cultural-political principles raises concerns over usucaption of collections in the cultural sphere, when (it may seem) that cultural heritage belongs to those who put it on the web. A solution could be digital exchange, the display of documents on every interested portal, and cooperation between archives, museums and libraries. It is the responsibility of today‘s generations to upload controlled content on the web. There are significant differences in digitization of cultural heritage among European countries, but this is everywhere a responsibility of national institutions. In well-organized models digitization tasks are shared by the partners involved: national institutions perform roles of organization and co-ordination, technological partners are only contributors, and may not acquire ownership in public property in culture.

Keywords: Digitization, Cultural heritage, Preservation, International co-operation, Electronic library, Availability, Europeana, European Digital Library

The role of the National Széchényi Library in the Hungarian library network. Presentation at a meeting of the Association of Hungarian Librarians

RÁCZ Ágnes

The article focuses on two tasks of the national library (NL): collection and preservation on the one hand; and cataloguing, catalogues and standardization on the other. In early 2017, a new legal deposit regulation will be issued with requirements regarding off-line and online e-materials. According to this new legal regulation, publishers will be responsible for the submission of legal deposit, and they will decide about the extent of legitimate use as well. According to the plans, the six legal deposit libraries will have access to e-materials held in digital storage in the NL through dedicated service points. Web archiving and the long-term preservation of e-materials are going to be handled as part of the NL’s information infrastructure development programme. The cornerstone of development is the migration of the ILS (now Amicus). As a complex service system, the new National System of Documents and Information Provision (ODIR) will include shared (union) catalogues: the Hungarian Shared Catalogue MOKKA, the register of materials of museum value, the National Serials Archive NPA and the central register of digitized materials. The paper covers issues related to the article database HUMANUS and the National Bibliography (MNB) as well. It is urgent to publish the Hungarian version of the MARC 21 exchange format, which will replace the currently used HUNMARC format in the NL. The NL must decide whether it will continue to use ISBD-based regulations or RDA that has grown out of AACR2.

Keywords: Electronic materials, Computerised bibliographic description, Integrated library system (ILS), Legal deposit copies, National library, Portal, Software, RDA, HUNMARC, MARC21, National Széchényi Library Budapest, MOKKA, HUMANUS, ODIR


Máté Kovács and Studies in Library Science („Könyvtártudományi tanulmányok”)


Máté Kovács (1906-1972) was a cultural politician, director of the University Library in Debrecen and later Head of the Department of Library Science at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He created a high-standard library science workshop at every stage of his career. As Head of Department, board member of the Association of Hungarian Librarians (MKE), and President of the National Library and Documentation Council (OKDT) he considered it important to support and co-ordinate library science research. In 1968, a ministerial meeting approved the plan to issue a yearbook, which will present the historical and theoretical aspects of library work in scientific publications. The first volume of the series, entitled Studies in Library Science 1968, was published in 1970, edited by Máté Kovács and Aranka N. Rácz. The topics in the volume indicate that the series aimed to encompass the entire scope of the Hungarian library culture. Four volumes were completed in the series until Máté Kovács‘s death in 1972. In later volumes the focus was altered from library science to the study of research in libraries.

Keywords: LIS research, History of librarianship, Publishing

The birth of information science and the roots of Tibor Horváth’s ideas in information science

CSÍK Tibor

Tibor Horváth (1935–2011) had a definitive role in the renewal of Hungarian library science and higher education and in the perception of the results of information science. This renewal included the re-familiarization of Otlet’s theoretical framework of documentation and the transposition of information science having risen in the mid-50s. The study takes into account, on whose ideas this process was based: from among the US pioneers (e.g., C. Shannon, D. Gabor, G. Salton), from the English scholars (e.g., B. Vickery, D. MacKay, D. Austin), from the French academic life (e.g., L. N. Malclès, J.C. Gardin), and from among German researchers (e.g., D. Soergel, G. Wersig). Many ideas of the representatives of science and system theory (e.g., L. v. Bertalanffy, D. S. Price, K. Boulding) and cognitive linguistics (e.g. N. Chomsky, Ch. Fillmore) became part of the Hungarian library science education, too.

Keywords: Documentation, Information science, Library science


„I was born to be a librarian, I am interested in this work!” Gyula Walleshausen (1923-2010)


In this series staff members of the Department of Library and Information Science at the Eötvös Loránd University present the edited and commented version of career interviews found in the legacy of the former Head of Department, Krisztina Voit. The interview published here was made in 1985, with Gyu­la Walleshausen (1923–2010), the newly retired Director-General of the Library of the University of Economics in Budapest. He spoke about his career, about the early years spent in Gödöllő (at the University of Agriculture) and in Budapest (at the Library of the Central Statistical Office as Deputy Director-General). He managed the moving of the Library of the University of Economics into a new building, worked in the Association of Hungarian Librarians, and authored a lot of articles. The editors added a biography, a selected bibliography of Walleshausen’s publications, as well as some important notes to the interview.

Keywords: University library, Library building, Library profession


RDA-outlook: examples on the use of the new Anglo-American cataloguing rules in Europe

DANCS Szabolcs

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a standard for descriptive cataloguing initially released in June 2010, providing instructions and guidelines on describing bibliographic data, intended for use by libraries and related cultural organizations. The article reports about its introduction in some European countries. In 2011-2015, the implementation of RDA was realized in German-speaking countries with the participation of 16 institutions, and setting up a joint standardization committee. In Denmark, RDA’s English version is used, the Danish Agency for Culture and the Danish Bibliographic Council participate in project management. In 2015, the Czech Republic began to do cataloguing according to RDA, and preparations started in Slovakia for transfer to RDA in 2016.

Keywords: Cataloguing rules, Computerised bibliographic description, RDA

Russian libraries in a changing world


Nowadays the Russian society undergoes a profound transformation. In contrast to the growing information society, publishing of books and newspapers is shrinking. The average number of copies of LIS journals is ca. 1000 (for a population exceeding 140 million). In the last 25 years the number of public libraries decreased from 57,000 to 38,000, and the number of school libraries decreased from 80,000 to 40,000. Less than two thirds of public libraries are offering internet access. There is a strong growth of public and private digital libraries. President Putin initiated the foundation of a third national library, the Presidential Library, named after Yeltsin. The highest turnover is implemented by Cyberleninka, a new portal created by young IT experts. Large national (central) libraries show a great variety. A major disaster hit INION (the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), when a fire destroyed its building and collection in January 2015. The number of professional associations is growing, but in a particular way (as a sign of democracy deficit) neither includes personal members. The former Soviet myth (“a people that reads the most”) has been dispelled: 70% of the population never touches book. An example of a successful cooperation is the development of a shared online catalogue (LIBNET). At the end of 2014, a private publisher issued a special journal issue on Hungarian school libraries.

Keywords: State of the art, Librarianship, Reading, Russia


Dr. Sándor Dörnyei turns 90

Alexander multifrons. Tanulmányok a 90 éves Dörnyei Sándor tiszteletére. Szerk. Perger Péter, Budapest, Argumentum Kiadó–OSZK, 2016. 214 p. (A Magyar Könyvszemle és a Mokka–R Egyesület füzetei; 8.)

(Reviewed by György Pogány)

Keywords: Festschrift, History of culture, Personal bibliography, Book review

Genius loci. Citations on the homeland selected by Miklós Bényei

A szülőföld varázsa. Idézetek ötven év olvasmányaiból. Összeáll. Bényei Miklós. Kiad. az MKE Helyismereti Könyvtárosok Szervezete, Budapest, MKE, 2016. 50 p.

(Reviewed by László Czeglédi)

Keywords: Local work, Collection of citations, Belles letters, Book review

Terrestrial and celestial globes

Plihál Katalin: Nyomtatott magyar föld- és éggömbök 1840–1990. + DVD-ROM. Budapest, Zrínyi Kiadó, 2016. 321 p.

(Reviewed by István Klinghammer)

Keywords: History of culture, Map, Book review