October 3, 1974

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Members Present: H. Richard Crane – Chairman, Joseph A. Burton, Laurence W. Fredrick, W. W. Havens, Jr., H. William Koch, Jarus W. Quinn

Non-Voting Participants: R. S. Rivlin (SOR), Sherwood K. Haynes (AAPT), Jack S. Krohmer (AAPM)

Absent: E. Leonard Jossem

AIP Staff Present: H. William Koch, Director; Sidney Millman, Acting Secretary; G. F. Gilbert, Treasurer; Lewis Slack, Assoc. Director for General Activities; Robert h. Marks, Assoc. Director for Publishing; Dorothy M. Lasky, Assistant to the Director; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Acting Secretary

Chairman Crane called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed the non-voting participants.

1. Minutes

Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the minutes of the September 9 Executive Committee meeting were approved.

2. Financial Matters

  1. Special Review by Subscription Fulfillment Consultant

    Koch reported that he had asked von Simson, author of the von Simson report on subscription Fulfillment, to spend another two days in reviewing the progress made by the AIP staff in implementing his recommendations on subscription fulfillment. He was also asked to look at the specific arrangement we have planned with AAPT on nonmember subscribers. He spent one day at the Institute two days ago and will spend another day writing up his findings. His informal conclusions are that AIP has made great progress since his last visit. There are still some deficiencies, especially in the agency area. Gilbert added that von Simson believes the agency problem is not unique to AIP but is typical of all publishers. He thinks we would have to either initiate some campaign to get them to submit data earlier, perhaps by some financial consideration, or somehow lure subscribers away from the agencies. Havens remarked that we might enlist the aid of some of our members in universities. They might talk to librarians and find out what is necessary to induce them to order journals direct. A letter from the Institute to department chairmen stating that the nonmember subscription fulfillment is an expensive and difficult problem, and asking them to discuss it with their librarians might help. We might offer a discount. Gilbert noted that the bulk of our nonmember subscription business is just with a few agencies. We should also examine what would be the disadvantages in getting the agencies down on us. Havens thought it is important that we establish a time schedule for setting up our policies and Koch indicated that the AIP staff could report further on the agency problem at some future meeting of the Executive Committee.

  2. 1975 Dues Billing Progress

    Gilbert distributed the schedule that is being followed on 1975 member renewal billing and gave some statistics on returns. There are no problems. Those returns paid-as-billed are going through the optical scanner.

  3. 1975 Budget Preparation Timetable

    Gilbert distributed the "Timetable for 1975 Budget" and said that the budget will be presented to the Executive Committee at its December meeting. He expressed the hope that there will be more involvement this year by the Executive Committee in the preparation of the budget.

  4. Report on October 2 Meeting of AIP Fiscal Policy Committee

    Burton distributed a brief report on this meeting and read parts of it. He highlighted the general satisfaction with the "Quoted Price" policy. He noted that the AIP auditor, Sheldon Greenberg, attended this meeting and also welcomes the "Quoted Price" scheme and feels it is appropriate to base the AIP audit as well as that of APS on the "Quoted Price" principle. Burton then read a resolution contained in the report which the Governing Board is asked to adopt. He suggested that AIP should also send a letter to each Society asking approval to proceed with this plan. He stated that the AIP staff has done a marvelous job. It is recommended that the Institute staff use its judgment in revising the 1974 quoted prices in preparing the third and fourth quarter financial statements.

    There are requests for simplified and more easily understood financial statements and it was suggested that we try to come up with something. The question of investment policies was raised and at the next meeting of the Fiscal Policy Committee, Archie Mahan has agreed to initiate a discussion on this subject. The following motion was passed:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend adoption by the Governing Board of the following resolution:

    RESOLVED: That the Institute use "Quoted Prices" as the basis for closing its 1974 books, for the 1974 year-end financial statements, and for quarterly statements thereafter, and that the difference between "Quoted Prices" and actual coats for the year ending 31 December 1974, and for each year thereafter, be settled with each Society as soon as it is determined.

3. Status of NSF Program

  1. TV Film Entitled “What is Life?”

    Slack reported that the first film in this series was on astronomy and was produced about a year and a half ago. The second one is on biological physics, dealing largely with hemoglobin. It is being produced in the same way, with the help of a scientific advisory committee. It also brings in the uses of computers in studying these kinds of molecules. The film has been put together but the final edited print is not yet available. We hope to have it on television some time this fall. The production was handled by KCET-TV in Los Angeles. Time-Life will probably handle sales and rentals.

  2. Oral History Tape Program

    Slack stated that this program is supported by a $25,000 grant from NSF and another $15,000 from the Heineman Foundation for the purpose of producing a number of tape cassettes on subjects such as moments of discovery, different styles of understanding nature through physics, discovery of fission, and the nuclear chain reaction. The first one will be used by about 60 different teachers this year. This project is under the direction of Lillian Hartmann Hoddeson of the Rutgers University Physics Department and Joan Warnow.

  3. Interchange of Computer-Tape Data Bases with Engineering Index and Development of Data-Descriptive Records for the Physical Sciences

    Marks referred to the two NSF grants previously reported. Some of the Publications Division people are now on the payroll for these projects and work on both is proceeding. No additional people were hired but some subcontract work is done outside as required. Both projects will probably be completed in the first quarter of 1975. Ken Metzner is in charge and Rita Lerner is the principal investigator on both.

4. Proposed Participation of Koch in ICSU/AB Activities in 1975

Koch referred to the last meeting of the Executive Committee when he was asked to come up with a description of the ICSU Abstracting Board activities. He called attention to a document entitled "Justification for AIP Membership in ICSU/AB” which had been distributed with the final agenda (copy attached as Exhibit A). He reminded the Committee that AIP is just one year beyond termination of the large funding for its information program and that AIP has also cut back on secondary services internally. Consistent with this, he had proposed that we might want to cut back on external involvement.

Referring to the invitation he had received to become Chairman of the Working Group on Cooperation Among Editors and Publishers of Primary Journals, Koch noted that as a chairman he would have to attend two meetings a year, each of about three or four days' duration. The total requirement for a chairman would be about two or three weeks of effort each year. Burton thought that AIP should continue to be a member but not undertake chairmanship of a group. Crane also felt that we do not want to be that deeply involved at this time, but since we are still in the business of working on secondary service projects we would want to stay connected. Havens noted that these activities also have effects on the primary journals and we may want to have an information channel. Koch concluded that he has a clear understanding that what is wanted is a minimal connection and that he should therefore not agree to be chairman of a working group.

5. Review of Governing Board Agenda

Copies of the Governing Board agenda with attachments for the meeting to be held on October 3 and 4 were distributed. In discussing this agenda Crane said that, under Item 6, Responses from Societies to LRPC Report, he will give a summary of the responses and open the meeting to discussion.

Burton observed that the invitation list included a number of guests and he wondered if the Governing Board should have more of an open meeting. He noted that the APS Council welcomes guests at its meetings and this has some advantages. Havens added that the actual number of people who come to the Council meetings is negligible and they are not participants as a rule. Fredrick thought it might be useful to invite one or more of the Society officers to attend. Burton noted that another suggestion which has been made is that the Governing Board and Society officers’ meeting might be one and the same thing, rather than having two separate groups of people. Crane observed that quite a lot of discussion in the Assembly consists of things they want to have transmitted to the Board. Discussion on this topic continued with the general consensus that it might be a good subject to bring up in the afternoon at the Assembly of Society Officers and at the Governing Board meeting.

  1. Requirement for Committee on Committees

    Koch noted that the two diagrams attached to the Governing Board "Final Agenda" present one possible scheme for revision of the AIP committee structure. He would like to see the Board rather than the AIP staff involved in developing this plan. Burton agreed that it needs a really careful and more detailed look than would be possible at either this meeting or the Board meeting tomorrow, Koch’s proposal seems like a good one since it fosters more active participation by Governing Board members. He therefore introduced the following motion which was passed:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that an ad hoc Committee on Committees be appointed to examine the committee structure of AIP and make recommendations back to the Board at the March meeting.

    Crane observed that there is a mood now for the Board and Executive Committee to take more full control of many of the activities of the Institute.

6. Proposal to Drop Encyclopedia or Physics

Marks reminded the Committee that last February the subject of the participation of two AIP employees in the production of this encyclopedia was brought to the attention of the Executive Committee. It was a proposal from Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross. We have run into complications because one of our employees would be receiving royalties for work done during AIP time. In the meantime Reinhold has updated their previous encyclopedia. He would therefore suggest that AIP withdraw from this project. The publisher will proceed with it anyhow and one of our employees will participate but on her own time. He proposed that it be dropped from AIP sponsorship. Accordingly, the following motion was passed:

MOVED that AIP drop their sponsorship of the Encyclopedia of Physics.

7. Future Meetings of the Executive Committee

A schedule for the next two meetings was agreed on, as follows:

  1. November 14, 1974, at Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Corporate Associates meeting.

  2. December 10, 1974, 9:30 a.m. at the Institute – Budget Meeting

8. Special Rate for Current Physics Index to Members of the European Physical Society

Marks proposed that, because of our traditional relationship with the European Physical Society, we should offer their members CPI at a special rate. The nonmember price will be around $100 and the member rate, $30. In the past we had authorized an intermediate price for CPAA and CPT. We would like to offer CPI to them at $50 or $55. We do offer them Physics Today at the member rate. This is for individual members and not for libraries. The following motion was passed:

MOVED that Marks’ proposed special rate for CPI to members of the European Physical Society be approved.

9. Advisory Panel on Publishing

Marks distributed a questionnaire on Physics Today (copy attached as Exhibit B) and noted that this is the first questionnaire to be sent to 500 members of the Advisory Panel, selected randomly from a total of about 3,000. He explained that the PT people would like some feedback on the content and on the departments we are running. We are also interested in the market represented by the readership of PT. The Advertising Division could use it to show the advertiser that the people who read PT are involved in buying equipment. Most of these questions on the first page are similar to those used in surveys conducted by Ellis every month when he was editor. Crane suggested that the covering letter indicate the number of members the questionnaire is being circulated to and the total number of panel members.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.