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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 22, 1969

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45 Street, New York, N.Y. 10017.

Members Present: Ralph A. Sawyer - Chairman, Arnold Arons, Stanley S. Ballard, John Bardeen, Joseph A. Burton, H. R. Crane, Herbert I. Fusfeld, Ronald, Geballe, J. E. Goldman, W. W. Havens Jr., W. Lewis Hyde, G. A. Jeffrey, Karl G. Kessler, H. W. Koch, R. B. Lindsay, A. I. Mahan, G. C. MoVittie, Frederick Seitz, Robert S. Shankland, Thor L. Smith, l-1ary E. Warga, Wallace Waterfall, Clarence Zener

Absent: Luis W. Alvarez, Robert T. Beyer, S.A. Goudsmit, Robert N. Little, Robert G. Sachs, A.E. Whitford

AIP Staff: H.W. Koch, Wallace Waterfall, G.F. Gilbert, Lewis Slack, Mary M. Johnson, R.H. Ellis Jr., Arthur Herschman and Alan Kranz joined the meeting in the afternoon.

Chairman Sawyer called the meeting to order at 9:59 a.m., and introduced the new directors, Messrs. Burton, Hyde, Jeffrey, and McVittie. He noted the absence of two new directors, Messrs. Beyer and Little. He reported that Mr. Whitford, on leave in Australia, had suffered a severe accident and was hospitalized. A motion to send him condolences and best wishes of the Board was made and passed unanimously.

2. Minutes

The Secretary said that the minutes of the meeting of September 27, 1968, which had been distributed to all members, contained one typographical error. On Page 4, line 2, the date given should have been February 5 instead of February 15. With the above correction it was moved, seconded, and passed without dissent that the minutes be approved.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the Annual Meeting had been held in very legal fashion just before this meeting of the Governing Board. All Societies were properly represented. The new Board composed of members elected by the Member Societies took office at the close of the meeting.

4. Report of Chairman

The Chairman reviewed actions of the Executive Committee since the Board meeting in March of 1968 as follows:

  1. At the June 7, 1968, meeting the Committee approved the rental of additional space for the Information Division on the 16th floor of the building across the street, 304 East 45 Street. This enabled us to move the Advertising Division back into our headquarters building and to sell our lease on the space which they had been occupying for $5,000. Space will again be a problem before long, particularly for our Editorial Mechanics Section, and the Property Committee has he problem under consideration.
  2. At the June 7, 1968, meeting we also agreed to undertake the handling of subscriptions for eight journals published by the Institute of Physics and Physical Society of England, beginning in 1969. At its meeting yesterday the Executive Committee authorized the Director to offer similar services to the physical societies of Japan, Canada, and Australia.
  3. In September 1968 we agreed to an arrangement whereby the net income from exhibits at the January meeting would be shared with APS and AAPT.
  4. In December 1968 the Committee noted with alarm the reduction in page charge honoring which had resulted from reduced Federal support of research and adopted a plan for AIP journals whereby publication of unhonored articles would be delayed. This action was regretted but considered necessary in order to avert financial difficulties.
  5. At Mr. Quimby’s request a committee was appointed to study editorial mechanics procedures with a view toward reducing the cost of Authors’ Alterations. This resulted in an active staff program which we believe has resulted in substantial improvements.
  6. The Committee has given much attention to delays in the publication of journals and consequent delays in the issuance of financial statements. Action to improve the situation is being taken and some recommendations will be made at this meeting.
  7. The Committee agreed in principle to a staff proposal that AIP sell microform copies of journals. Then details are worked out they will be presented to the Societies for consideration with respect to their journals.

5. Report of Nominating Committee and Election

Mr. Mahan, Chairman of the Nominating Committee which consisted of Mahan, Bardeen, and Shankland, presented the following slate: Chairman, Ralph A. Sawyer; member of the Executive Committee, W.W. Havens Jr., Robert G. Sachs, Mary E. Warga, Ronald Geballe, Stanley S. Ballard, and R.B. Lindsay; Director-at-Large, Gerald Holton. There being no further nominations the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that nominations be closed and that the slate as presented be declared elected.

It is understood that those elected take office at the close of the present meeting.

6. Confirmation of Mail Ballot on Secretary’s Term of Office

By action of the Governing Board in March 1967 the term of Wallace Waterfall as Secretary of the Institute was extended to the end of calendar year 1968. At the December 1968 meeting of the Executive Committee the director proposed a further extension of Mr. Waterfall’s term as Secretary to March 31, 1970, and the Committee authorized a mail ballot of the Board to approve this extension. The mail ballot was circulated on December 17, 1968, and favorable replies were received from all but one member show did not vote. Confirmation of the mail ballot is required and the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the mail ballot extending Mr. Waterfall’s term as Secretary to March 31, 1970, be confirmed.

7. Financial Report for 1968

The Treasurer said that the books for 1968 had not yet been closed but that an estimate had been made showing a loss for the year of approximately $57,000. He distributed and read a memorandum dated March 22, 1969. (copy attached) giving details and comparisons with 1967 operations.

Although the loss fo the year will be substantial, it was pointed out that it represents only about 1% of our annual budget. A loss for 1968 was not anticipated at the time of the 1969 budget was adopted and it will now be necessary for the staff to reconsider the 1969 budget and recommend any changes which may seem appropriate at the June meeting of the Executive Committee. Copies of the audited financial statement for 1968 will be distributed to all Board members as soon as they are available.

8. Financial Handling Charge for 1970

The Secretary explained that the new By-Laws provide that each year the Governing Board shall establish the financial handling charge to be paid by the Societies for the succeeding year. The charge for 1969 was set on one-half of one percent and the Executive Committee recommended that the same charge be set for 1970. On the basis of this recommendation the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the financial handling charge to be paid by Member Societies be set at one-half of one percent and the Executive Committee recommended that the same charge be set for 1970.

9. Report on Joint Meeting of Committee of Society Secretaries and Treasurers and AIP Publication Board

The Director read from his memorandum of March 20, 1969, entitled, “Meeting on Economics of Journal Publication; Journal Schedules.” He pointed out that, although printing and editorial mechanics costs are very important, maintaining journal schedules is equally important and failure to maintain schedules may result in increased costs in other areas and inability to maintain fiscal control over publishing operations. The Director’s memorandum made the four following recommendations which were considered by the Executive Committee at its meeting yesterday and the Executive Committee recommended that the Board approve them and urged that Member Societies do also:

  1. Journal indexes should be separated from the textual material in December issues and mailed separately.
  2. The costs of the indexes should be estimated and included in the final financial statement for the year.
  3. Distinct monthly sections of a given journal should become separate journals.
  4. The AIP Editorial Section should be given the full responsibility for meeting the important date on the schedule when the line-up of corrected galleys is returned to the printer. This will result in the journal going to press with the material on hand at AIP on the schedule date. This responsibility can be removed from AIP upon special notification from the editor who then assumes the responsibility of lateness. Backlogs of unpublished material and some cost increases may result from this procedure and may have to be tolerated in favor of maintaining schedules. The December issues may be thin because of the very tight time schedules and heavy work-loads at the time of year.

After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissent:

MOVED that the abover procedures be adopted where appropriate for AIP journals and recommended to the Societies for adoption with respect to their journals.

10. Honoring of Publication Charges

The Director reviewed the action taken by the Executive Committee at its budgeting meeting last December in which it was decided to delay publication of unhonored articles. At the time an author is notified of acceptance of his article for publication he is asked to state whether or not the publication charge will be paid and, if he says it will not be paid, editorial work and composition are delayed for two or more months. It is too earl y to tell what effect this will have but there is already some indication that publicizing the delay may encourage authors' institutions to find ways of paying the publication charge. Anyway, this new system gives better control over journal finance$ and makes it possible to avert financial catastrophes.

11. Utilization of Abstract Charge Fund

The Director said that NSF and other Government agencies had expressed concern about the use that was being made of money that was collected on the abstract charge. He said that he had written a letter to Mr. Adkinson of NSF on the subject and he distributed copies of that letter and discussed its contents. Money from the fund has been used to subsidize member subscriptions to PHYSICS ABSTRACTS but the subsidy required has been far less than the sum collected and, at the end of 1968, there will remain approximately $ 125,000 in the fund. With, the approval of APS the Executive Committee at its February m2eting of this year decided that member subscriptions to PHYSICS  ABSTRACTS should not be subsidized with AIP funds after the current calendar year. Fends collected this year and not needed for subsidizing subscriptions will be returned to the Societies if they request it. Through the years the abstract charges have been collected solely for use in connection with abstracting and indexing services and (he Director said he wished to assure the Board that the money remaining in the fund at the end of this calendar year will not be used for any other purposes than those for which they were collected. The Societies may decide to use their share of 1969 collections in connection with their own abstracting and indexing services. Our Information Program envisioned preparation of tapes for photocomposition for PHYSICS ABSTRACTS and we believe it would be legitimate to use some of the funds for that purpose.

12. Philosophy of Publication Charge and Article Charge

The Director pointed out that the publication charge of a fixed amount per page had been widp.ly accepted as a legitimate charge to help cover the "front end" costs of publishing scientific articles. The cost of editing and composition is about the same for each page and, therefore, the publication charge for an article should be based on the number of pages. Indexing and abstracting costs for each article are about the same regardless of the number of pages. The Institute and the Societies now have their indexing costs and, as our Information Program develops, there will be a cost for inputting information about each article into the system which will be independent of the number of pages in the article. This suggestion that what we have called an abstract charge in the past might well be replaced by an article charge for the future. The article charge could be the sum of the cost of indexing the article in the journal which carries it plus the cost of inputting information on about the article in the AIP information system. The Director said he would inquire from each Society about the cost of indexing articles in its journals and he would also make some estimate of the cost of inputting articles luto the AIP information system. At the June meeting of the Executive Committee he hoped to be able to propose an article charge which would cover bath services. He asked that the Board approve this general concept of an article charge and the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the AIP staff, for its own and Society journals, continue to develop the concept of an article charge to begin with calendar year 1970, with the understanding that details of the plan are to be presented to the Executive Committee and to the Societies for approval.

13. Report from COMPAS

Mr. Slack distributed copies of the paper entitled, “Purposes and Activities of the AIP Committee on Physics and Society,” which ahd been presented by Mr. Crane on February 3, 1969, at the New York meeting of APS and AAPT. (Copy attached.)

Mr. Crane then talked about the past and future activities of COMPAS and following is the Secretary’s summary of his remarks:

The Committee is advisory to this Governing Board. It is not privileged to express opinions for itself or for the Societies. Its findings are transmitted to this Board and it is up to the Board to decide what statements should be made to the public. In the past the Committee has concerned itself with the effect of the draft, manpower, changes in the funding of physics, and the arrangement of symposia at meetings on problems which concern such things at the image of physics and the interaction of physics with current problems of industry and the public.

Some physicists are now claiming that the Societies and AIP should express themselves on nontechnical matters and the Executive Committee of AIP recently requested COMPAS to make a study of what should be the involvement of AIP in nontechnical areas. A subcommittee consists of D.Z. Robinson, H.R. Crane, and E.L. Goldwasser ahs been appointed to begin these studies and future meetings of the full Committee will undoubtedly spend much time on the subject. If it should be decided by the Board that AIP should become involved in nontechnical areas of public concern, and that COMPAS should be the instrument for recommending policy on such matters, then consideration should probably be given to the composition of COMPAS and how its members are selected. It has already been suggested that the members of COMPAS should be elected in some manner by the membership of the Societies so that it will be more representative of the membership.

It has also been suggested that COMPAS should study some of AIP’s current programs such as those in physics history, education, and manpower and advise what should be done about them in the future.

Mr. Crane finished his comments by saying that COMPAS intends to move very cautiously. Comments by Board members supported Mr. Crane’s view that caution was desirable. The charter of AIP places some limits on its activities and the interests and activities of COMPAS cannot properly go beyond the interests of the Governing Board. AIP is governed by the Member Societies through their representatives on the Board.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:05 and reconvened at 2:00.p.m.

14. Status Report on AIP Information Program

The Director started the presentation by saying that AIP had been working intensively on an information system for physics a little more than one year and he wanted the Governing Board to know the pre sent status of the project. The Information staff now contains about 35 people. The problem is a complete one and much of the time so far has been spent in learning the nature of it. We now think we understand the problem and have definite plans to solve it. Two weeks ago we made a full day's presentation to six NSF officials and some of our own staff officers and all who attended seemed pleased with progress to date. The Director said there were three things he hoped the Board members would bear in mind during the presentation:

  1. The orientation of our information system is toward the user of physics information. It is he who needs help with the rapidly expanding mass of physics literature.
  2. The AIP Information system will be of critical importance to the Societies and their existing publication programs.
  3. We have been assured that we will continue to have both the moral and financial support of the Federal Government.

Mr. Herschman then took over and, with slides and a wall chart, he outlined the entire development program, describing what had been done to date and the plans for the future. The whole object of the program is to improve the way information gets from the producer (author) to the user (reader). Through our journal publishing activities, which now control about 35% of the world's physics literature, we have perfected the way information gets from the producer to the archives. Our Information Program is directed toward finding a better way of getting information from the archive to the user.

Mr. Kranz then followed with a description of the details of the classification scheme developed to put information into a store in such a way that it could be later be retrieved by a user.

In the discussion which followed Board members asked a number of questions which were answered by Koch or Herschman. The current cost of the project is a little less than one million dollars per year, approximately half of which is spent for salaries and one-third for outside contracts. Three more years should result in complete plans and specifications for a Physics Information System and a decision will then have to be made about who will operate it. We believe parts of the system can be self-supporting.

There will be many other users besides physicists and they will all contribute. As plans are completed the Governing Board and through it the Societies will be asked to make decisions about the future.

15. Annual Report – Approval and Authorization to Publish in PHYSICS TODAY

The Chairman stated that a draft of the report for 1968, as prepared by the Director, had been sent to all Board members before the meeting. The Board was asked to suggest such changes as seemed required and then adopt it and order its transmittal as the Report of the Board to Member Societies. He said it was also customary to authorize publication of a condensed version in PT. The following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissent:

MOVED that the annual report for 1968, as prepared by the Director, be approved as the Annual Report of the Board to Member Societies.

16. Appointment of Committees and Representatives

A list of proposed committees and representatives had been sent to Board members before the meeting. There were no suggestions and the following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissent:

MOVED that the proposed list be approved and that the Chairman and Director be authorized to make such changes and additions as are necessary during the coming year.

A list of committees and representatives, as approved, is attached.

17. Future Meetings

The Director said the usual Assembly was being planned for September 29 through October 1, with September 30 as the Corporate Associates day and the Governing Board meeting on October 1, 1969.

18. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.