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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 3, 1934

I. The Executive Committee met at the call of the Chairman at 9:15 a.m., Saturday, March 3, 1934, at the office of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated, 11 East 38th Street, New York, N. Y.

Present: Chairman Compton, Messrs. Bingham, Fletcher, Palmer, Pegram, Richtmyer, the Director, Mr. Barton, and the Treasurer, Mr. Buffum.

II. Foreign postage:

The Chairman asked the Director to take up the first topic on the agenda namely the present cost to the journals of foreign postage over and above domestic rates.

On motion it was voted:

that the Committee recommend to the member Societies that they consider the desirability of increasing the foreign subscription price of their journals by ten percent (10%) which amount will approximately cover the extra cost of foreign postage on the journals and on the subscription to the Review of Scientific Instruments.

On motion it was voted:

that the Institute of Physics increase the foreign subscription rates for the Journal of Chemical Physics and Review of Scientific Instruments in order to meet the additional cost of sending the journals abroad, the increase to be one dollar ($1.00) for the Journal of Chemical Physics and fifty cents ($0.50) for the Review of Scientific Instruments.

Mr. Richtmyer at this point made the suggestion that it might be possible to send the journals to European points at a lower cost by sending them by freight to distributing centres and then remailing them. The Geographic Society of America saves much money by an arrangement of this kind.

III. Graphic Arts Code:

The Chairman informed the Committee of having received a letter from the Deputy Administrator of the Graphic Arts Code, recently signed by the President, inviting representations if the code seems to work badly with respect to scientific publication. Mr. Buffum stated that Mr. Gilbert of the Lancaster Press, Inc. had been one of the first selected as a member of the executive committee for the administration of the code.

IV. Review of Scientific Instruments deficit:

Mr. Barton discussed the deficit of the Review of Scientific Instruments in 1933 which was larger than had been hoped because the volume of advertising did not grow as large as had been expected and showed a sheet prepared by the auditors giving the operating deficit for 1933 as $11,360. (amount was corrected to $11,545.38)

V. Financial report on Review of Scientific Instruments for 1933:

Discussion of the financial condition of the Review of Scientific Instruments was under the following topics:

  1. Mr. Barton reported that in response to a questionnaire of which 1200 copies had been sent out to persons receiving the R.S.I., 109 replies had been received in three days, 83 of these expressing a willingness to contribute $2.00 a year. (later corrected to $1.00 for 1933, $1.00 for 1934)

  2. Mr. Compton reported on an interview with Mr. Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation as to the possibility of obtaining for the Institute and particularly for the support of R.S.I. the remainder of the $3.00 per page guarantee fund. Mr. Weaver was to look up the matter and report later the possibility depending on the wording of the action of the Foundation in setting aside the money in the first place. Mr. Compton spoke also of the possibility of applying to the National Academy of Sciences for possibly one thousand dollars if the Rockefeller Foundation could not aid directly.

  3. Mr. Richtmyer raised the question of the receipt of about $1500 representing one-half the assets of R.S.I. before it was turned over to the Institute. It was explained that this money had been received in 1934 and therefore was not in the accounting submitted for 1933. Mr. Richtmyer discussed also the possibility of applying to the Association of Scientific Instrument Makers for a grant of possibly five hundred dollars.

  4. Mr. Barton submitted an analysis of the replies that had been received on the questionnaire about R.S.I. as to the preference of the subscribers with respect to the several sections of the journal.

  5. Mr. Compton spoke of a discussion and investigation which he had initiated of the possibility of extending the application of the principle of the three dollars per page charge to scientific journals in general and stated that the general idea had received strong though not unanimous support. He referred also the efforts that are being made at present by the American Mathematical Society to enlist the aid of contributing institutions and to the fact that the Rockefeller Foundation is providing the salary of a field agent for a year to try to put this plan into effect. In further discussion it was agreed that the Institute of Physics ought for the cause of physics as a whole to be seeking to associate with the Institute contributing industrial or university research laboratories and any other appropriate organizations.

    On motion it was voted:

    that for the rest of 1934 the section of abstracts be omitted from R.S.I. and the book reviews be reduced to notices except on the April issue for which special material on books has already been arranged.

    On motion it was voted:

    that in case the Rockefeller Foundation’s reply about aid should be unfavorable Mr. Compton should approach the National Academy for requesting a grant.

    On motion it was voted:

    that the Chairman, Director, and Treasurer prepare an application to the Chemical Foundation asking the Foundation to pay off or to carry the R.S.I. deficit that may remain after all other practical measures for reducing it have been taken.

    On motion it was voted:

    that a committee be appointed to report on the subject of associating contributing corporations with the Institute, with the suggested title of research associates, at the meeting of the Governing Board to be held on April 7, 1934.

    (Later in the meeting the Chairman appointed the committee as follows: Mr. Fletcher, chairman, Mr. Barton, and Mr. Richtmyer.)

VI. Review of Scientific Instruments budget for 1934:

This topic was opened with general discussion of how far it would be profitable to reduce the number of pages in R.S.I. in 1934. Mr. Buffum suggested that there would be danger in cutting down too much, that it would probably be a better policy to apply our attention to finding means for paying for what the journal really should contain rather than to continue to cut down the real value of the journal by reduction in the number of pages.

Mr. Richtmyer raised the question of how far articles in R.S.I. should be written for physicists only, thereby permitting condensation which would not be desirable if the journal were to be used by biologists or other well trained scientists.

On motion it was voted:

that the Editor of R.S.I. be instructed to keep the volume of the journal to about 650 pages in 1934.

On motion it was voted:

that the proposed budget for the Review of Scientific Instruments for 1934 be presented by the Director at the Board meeting on April 7,1934.

VII. 1934 budget of the Institute

Mr. Barton submitted a proposed budget for the Institute for 1934 showing a total of $11,970.

On motion it was voted:

that this budget was approved for presentation to the Governing Board at the meeting on April 7, 1934.

Mr. Barton referred to the fact that the Institute office might not be able to be of assistance to the member societies by undertaking office work for the societies.

On motion it was voted:

that the Institute offer to the member societies to make arrangement for office work for them.

The committee adjourned for luncheon at 12:45 p.m. and went into session again at 2:15 o’clock.

VIII. Contributing associates:

Discussion returned to the subject of affiliating laboratories and other institutions with the Institute as contributing associates. It was agreed that to put a plan for associates of this kind into effect would require the service of a well qualified man to obtain the interest of these laboratories and institutions which are concerned in the advancement of physics. It was agreed that Mr. Holland, now associated with the New York office of the National Research Council, would be a good man for this work and that if the Institute could procure his services from the National Research Council possibly for part time for a few months it might well afford to pay the proper part of his salary.

It was agreed therefore that it would be appropriate to allow a commission on the returns from this work and the suggestion was ten percent up to a certain sum and beyond that five percent.

The Committee appointed under V, namely, Mr. Fletcher, Mr. Barton, and Mr. Richtmyer, was asked to take up the question of securing Mr. Holland’s services with the Chairman of the National Research Council.

IX. Advertising rates in R.S.I.:

The discussion of this subject by Mr. Barton, Mr. Buffum, and others brought out general agreement that it would not be well to attempt to raise the advertising rates at the present time, that the raising of the rates should be done when the volume is satisfactory.

X. Differential charge as between large and small journals:

After full discussion of the differential in charges as operating in favor of the larger journals as compared with the smaller and with the full recognition of the force of the arguments for the adoption of the differential and its inclusion in the contracts it was agreed that these differentials present serious disadvantages.

On motion it was voted:

that we recommend to the Governing Board that the differential charge be discontinued.

XI. Emblem for the Institute:

Mr. Barton stated that the R.S.I. had conducted a competition for a suitable emblem to appear on that journal and that this leads naturally to the adoption of an emblem or seal by the Institute. A number of the best designs submitted in the R.S.I. competition were shown to the Committee.

XII. The Committee adjourned about 4:45 p.m.