By sheer coincidence, one vendor demonstrated the fallacy of another vendor’s beliefs in the space of the last few days. I give you two vignettes:
The American Chemical Society dismissed Jenica’s report about SUNY Potsdam dropping their subscription to ACS by calling out blogs as unbalanced, discourteous things.
A spokesman for the American Chemical Society said that the group would not offer a response to Ms. Rogers’s blog post or the conversation that’s sprung up around it. “We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and other listservs where logic, balance, and common courtesy are not practiced and observed,” Glenn S. Ruskin, the group’s director of public affairs, said in an e-mail message. “As a matter of practice, ACS finds that direct engagement via telephone or face-to-face with individuals expressing concern over pricing or other related matters is the most productive means to finding common ground and resolution.” (from this morning’s Chronicle of Higher Education, with apologies for their paywall)
So public discussions on blogs and email lists lack civility, but private one-on-one communication is good for finding common ground. Got it.
Meanwhile, the JoVE sales force have taken that to heart and prefer to sell their product to individual faculty members rather than to librarians (actually a fairly typical practice), getting the faculty to request their product from the library. And apparently this one-on-one communication between individuals can also be unbalanced and discourteous. Here is the email one JoVE salesman sent to a faculty member who wasn’t really interested in the JoVE product in the first place.
—— Forwarded Message
From: Max Radbill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:18:24 -0700
I am writing not to ask if you ever evaluated JoVE, but to question your integrity. By asking me to set up a trial for what I am assuming you wanted only to use a protocol from JoVE and then be done with JoVE. This is the reason I am questioning your integrity. Before the trial you said,you would be able to evaluate JoVE in the time given and if useful for you and your student you would endorse JoVE highly. This, of course, never happened.
For me this is a completion of the transaction that has been lingering. My conclusion is that you lied to get what you want and you lack integrity.
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) <http://www.jove.com/>
17 Sellers St., Cambridge, MA 02139
tel. 617.765.4362 (office) | tel. 774.254.3451 (mobile) | email@example.com
I bet we’d have universally civil discourse if we took the humans out of the equation. Short of that, it seems that it’s possible to be a complete jerk in any format.
Howard, J. (2012, September 26). “As Chemistry Journals’ Prices Rise, a Librarian Just Says No.” Chronicle of Higher Education. Washington, D.C.