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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

December 15, 1949

Present: George R. Harrison (Chairman), Paul E. Klopsteg, F. Wheeler Loomis, George B. Pegram, Wallace Waterfall

Guests: G. P. Harnwell, Editor, The Review of Scientific Instruments; Elmer Hutchisson, Editor, Journal of Applied Physics; J. E. Mayer, Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Ruth F. Bryans, Betty Hofstadter, David A. Ketcher, T. Vorburger

1. Minutes:

On motion made, seconded, and carried, the minutes of the meeting of October 25, 1949 were approved as distributed.

2. A proposed budget for 1950 was presented and examined by the Committee but action was deferred until reports of the editors had been heard.

3. Reports of Editors:

The written reports of the editors of the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, and THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS were distributed to members of the Committee prior to the meeting. These reports, copies of which are attached to official minutes, were reviewed briefly by the editors and after considerable discussion actions were taken as indicated below.

  1. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS.

    MOVED that the page budget for JCP for 1950 be set at 1800 pages, and that the Editor be instructed to keep within his budget by restricting wherever necessary the number of papers in surface and polymer phenomena and similar marginal fields of chemical physics.

    Some progress has been made in publishing the backlog of JCP papers which was discussed in previous meetings but, as of January 1, it appears the backlog will still amount to about 440 pages. It is recognized that the Institute has some responsibility to clean up this backlog since the journal was quite lean during the war years. It is understood that approval of the expense of publishing such a backlog should be considered as a non-recurring item separate from the page budget for 1950 approved above. Accordingly, the following action was taken.

    MOVED that, in addition to the page budget approved above, the expenditure of $9000 be authorized during 1950 to publish in JCP the 440 pages of backlog manuscripts which have accumulated to the end of 1949.

  2. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS.

    MOVED that the page budget for JAP for 1950 be set at 1350 pages.

    MOVED that at the earliest convenient date subscription prices for JAP be increased from $7.00 to members and $9.00 to non-members to $10.00 and $12.00 respectively, foreign rates to $1.00 higher in each category.

    MOVED that the Physical Society subscription rate to JAP, when chosen in lieu of Physical Society journals, remain at $6.00.

    In Mr. Hutchisson’s report, he indicated he has approximately 300 pages of backlog which he would like to clean up during the next two years. The increased subscription rates approved above will not effect much increased revenue until 1951 but during that year should increase journal income by about $10,000. On a two year basis, therefore, the increased rates should pay for publishing the backlog. Accordingly, the following action was taken.

    MOVED that, in addition to the page budget approved above, the expenditure of $5250 be authorized during 1950 to publish in JAP 150 pages of backlog manuscripts which have accumulated to the end of 1949.

  3. THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS.

    MOVED that the page budget for RSI for 1950 be set at 1150 pages.

    MOVED that, effective as soon as possible, the subscription price for RSI be increased from $5.00 to members and $7.00 to non-members to $6.00 and $8.00 respectively, foreign rates to be $1.00 higher in each category.

    MOVED that the Physical Society subscription rate to RSI, when chosen in lieu of the Physical Society journals, remain at $5.00.

    Editor Harnwell stated that the editorial policy followed in RSI has prevented the accumulation of a backlog. The relatively modest increase in subscription rates approved above should place the journal in a good financial position in 1951.

4. Appointment of Editors:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Elmer Hutchisson was reappointed Editor of the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS for a three year term commencing January 1, 1950.

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Joseph E. Mayer was reappointed Editor of the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS for a three year term commencing January 1, 1950.

5. Appointment of Associate Editors:

On recommendation of the respective Editors and on motion made, seconded, and carried, the following Associate Editors were appointed for three year terms commencing January 1, 1950.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS

  • James Hillier
  • Eric Reissner
  • Howard H. Aiken

JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS

  • Willard F. Libby
  • Forrest Cleveland
  • R. Nielsen
  • K. J. Laidler
  • Ralph Halford
  • George Kimball
  • Bryce Crawford, Jr.

THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS

  • W. K. H. Panofsky
  • Bernard T. Feld
  • R. S. Shankland
  • C. F. Squire
  • J. H. Williams
  • K. S. Cole

6. PHYSICS TODAY:

It was reported that the Society of Rheology, the Optical Society, and the Acoustical Society had subscribed to PHYSICS TODAY for all of their members for 1950 at the group rate of $2.00 per member per year. The American Association of Physics Teachers has not had a meeting but since more than 25% of their members had subscribed to PHYSICS TODAY at the $4.00 rate, the officers of AAPT have taken a group subscription for all their members for the months of January and February 1950. Continuation of this group subscription well be decided at the AAPT meeting early in February. It was also reported that the number of non-member subscribers is increasing and that these, together with individual and group subscriptions, make an estimated circulation of over 10,000. On the basis of these reports, the following motion was made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that PHYSICS TODAY be continued for 1950 without commitment beyond that.

There had been informal agreement that the non-member subscription rate for PHYSICS TODAY should be raised to $5.00 and this new rate was recently publicized. However, this would prevent our taking advantage of second class mailing privileges which more than offsets the $1.00 difference in subscription rates. Accordingly, it was agreed that the $5.00 non-member rate should be withdrawn and that the non-member rate for PHYSICS TODAY for 1950 should be set at $4.00.

Mr. Vorburger requested permission to set up a special bank account with facsimile signature to handle refunds to members who had subscribed at $4.00 before the three Societies took group subscriptions. Accordingly, it was moved, seconded, and carried that a special account be set up at the Bankers Trust Company to handle refunds in this manner. (Formal motion required by bank approved and attached to official minutes).

Mr. Barton reported that he and others believe it would be advisable to establish a special committee to study the situation of and prospects for PHYSICS TODAY. Such a committee would be considered as an ad hoc committee to review the purposes for which PHYSICS TODAY was established, survey PHYSICS TODAY’s success in meeting those purposes, and recommend such changes in editorial or fiscal policy as appear to be indicated. There was considerable discussion regarding the activities and membership of such a committee and the following motion was made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that the following be appointed a Committee on Situation of and Prospects for PHYSICS TODAY:

  • J. B. Fisk
  • F. Seitz
  • R. H. Bolt
  • R. B. Barnes
  • D. Roller
  • G. P. Harnwell

It was pointed out that the Advisory Committee for PHYSICS TODAY has served its purpose and is no longer active. On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the Advisory Committee was discharged with thanks.

7. Action on Budget:

The proposed budget for 1950 was modified to provide for actions taken regarding page budgets and subscription rates and the following motion was made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that the budget for 1950 be adopted as modified (copy attached).

8. Placement Service:

There was some discussion as to the desirability of operating the Placement Service at the Washington American Physical Society meeting as well as at the New York meeting. It was the consensus that one meeting a year is all we should undertake except for exceptional circumstances. It was agreed that the matter will be studied and no decision reached until after the New York meeting.

9. Consultant on Printing:

It was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that Mr. Melvin Loos be reappointed for another year as Consultant on Printing. It is understood that Mr. Loos will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses.

10. Dates for Future Meetings:

The following meeting dates were set:

  • Annual Meeting – Saturday, February 25, 1950
  • Executive Committee Meeting – Friday, March 31, 1950
  • Governing Board Meeting – Saturday, April 1, 1950

11. Governing Board Vacancy:

It was pointed out that Mr. Loomis’ resignation as a Member-at-Large of the Governing Board to accept the Physical Society nomination to the Board leaves a one year vacancy which should be filled by the Board before its next regular meeting. Accordingly, it was moved, seconded, and carried that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that Mr. James Fisk be selected to fill the vacancy and that a mail ballot of the Board be taken for this purpose between the next Annual meeting and the next Board meeting.

12. Institute Staff Reorganization:

Mr. Waterfall recommended that Mr. Vorburger’s title be changed from Assistant Treasurer and Business Manager to Assistant Treasurer and Comptroller and that Miss Hofstadter’s title be changed from Office Manager to Assistant Secretary. The Committee approved the changes.

13. Study of Abstracting:

Mr. Barton reported that the Institute’s ONR project for the study of abstracting had been practically completed; that a full report will be available soon; and that it will contain recommendations to the American Physical Society as to financing abstracts, to the publishers of the journal Physics Abstracts as to coverage and indexing, and to the AIP and the editors of the journals published by AIP as to various means of improving and expediting abstracting.

It was agreed that a study should be made of an alternative plan of circulation whereby Physics Abstracts would be sent only to members electing to take it at a small added cost, a definite portion of the dues of all members continuing to go as support to the publication.

14. Director’s Report:

Mr. Barton reported for the information of the Committee, that:

  1. The AEC-NRC fellowship program was being drastically curtailed because of the new security-test requirement. No new predoctoral fellows will be appointed but one-year reappointments of present fellows may be made either until they receive their Ph.D’s or for terms ending June 1951 whichever is sooner.
  2. The present ONR contract supporting the publication of nuclear physics expires February 28, 1950. Inquiries of ONR and AEC indicated reluctance to continue such support (other than by honoring the regular per-page publication charge) unless clear evidence of a considerable emergency is presented. If such evidence develops early in 1950, the matter will be considered then in that light.
  3. There is a hazard to the income of the Institute and the Member Societies in that a large amount comes from foreign sources. The amount is roughly $100,000, of which about $75,000 is APS income. The devaluation of many currencies adds to the cost of our services in these countries and may reduce the number of subscribers and members. It was agreed that no appeal for help from foundations or other sources should be made in this connection until subscriptions and dues for 1950 are mostly in and the damage can be appraised.

15. Anniversary Meeting Committee:

It was reported that the member societies have designated their representatives on the meeting committee as follows:

  • American Physical Society – Karl K. Darrow
  • Optical Society of America – Arthur C. Hardy
  • Acoustical Society of America – John C. Steinberg
  • American Association of Physics Teachers – Paul E. Klopsteg
  • Society of Rheology – W. R. Willets

The Chairman indicated that he would appoint a chairman for the committee and several other members and that the initial meeting of this committee should be held as soon as possible.

16. American Standards Association:

Mr. Waterfall reported receipt of a letter from the ASA inviting the Institute to appoint a member to their newly organized Miscellaneous Projects Correlating Committee. This committee will meet from one to four times a year and its functions will be to study procedures rather than contents of standards. On motion made, seconded, and carried, Mr. Waterfall was appointed to represent the Institute on the Projects Correlating Committee of the ASA.

17. Annual Report:

The Director reported that if acceptable to the Committee, he would prepare a summary report for the Annual Meeting and a more complete report for the Governing Board meeting. The form which the Annual Report should take was discussed and it was agreed that hereafter it should include a report from the Secretary naming the various committees which have served during the year and the Institute’s representatives on other committees.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.