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RE: BioMed Central Authors to retain copyright

There is of course another view on all of this.  The state/Feds pay
teachers an researchers to do research.  At some point they do publish and
publishers (societies and commercial publishers) gamble that they can make
a profit distributing that information.  Libraries are given funds to buy
research information. They buy information from commerical and non
commercial funds. There is a lot of research that goes unpublished and
there is a lot of published information that goes unpurchased.  Let's not
simplify everything so much that libraries appear to be the victims of
ruthless commercial publishers.  We buy information but the whole
enterprise is complicated. If the value isn't there don't buy it.  

Anthony W. Ferguson
Associate University Librarian
514 Butler
Columbia University Libraries MC1103
535 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10027
Tel. 212-854-7401
Fax. 212-854-9099 (new fax number!!!!!!!!!!!)
Net: ferguson@Columbia.edu

On Fri, 28 Apr 2000, T. Scott Plutchak wrote:

> In my case, as someone who buys the stuff (at a rate of about
> $1,000,000/year), the money comes straight out of state tax dollars -- the
> same pool out of which we pay faculty salaries.  So, tax revenue (either
> state for salaries or federal for research) pays the faculty to write the
> stuff, they send it off to the journals (often paying page charges for the
> privilege) and then more tax revenue pays to buy it back.  And when the
> faculty fuss (legitimately) about their salaries, the money comes right
> out of the library budget.  So in that sense, the money to pay for the
> publications _does_ come from research grants and faculty salaries.
> T. Scott Plutchak
> Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
> Associate Director, Academic Programs Information Technology
> University of Alabama at Birmingham
> tscott@uab.edu
> http://www.uab.edu/lister
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rick Anderson [mailto:Rick_Anderson@uncg.edu]
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: BioMed Central Authors to retain copyright
> > The money spent for academic journals and books does not pay for the
> > creation of the information--research grants and faculty
> > salaries do that.
> Well, yes... but once the information is created, it still costs money to
> publish and distribute it.  That money comes from those who pay for the
> publications or who underwrite them through advertising, not (in most
> cases) from research grants and faculty salaries.  And when it comes to
> non-academic writing (which forms an essential part of any liberal arts
> collection), copyright protection is essential to the creation process
> itself.
> > The lack of copyright protection would hinder no academic author;
> This may become true at some point in the future, but it is most certainly
> not true now.  Copyright protection is enormously important to academic
> authors -- not so much because it protects our individual rights (as I
> observed earlier), but because it makes possible the publishing
> infrastructure that currently exists and on which we rely as academics.  
> As a tenure-seeking librarian, I must have publishers to assist me in my
> career path by publishing and distributing what I write.  Yes, I care
> about whether publishers make money -- not out of some altruistic concern
> for their individual "lifestyles," but out of a desire for them to keep
> existing so that they can publish what I write.  In the long run we may
> not need them.  But most of us are up for tenure in the short run.
> --------
> Rick Anderson
> Head Acquisitions Librarian
> Jackson Library
> UNC Greensboro
> (336) 334-5281
> rick_anderson@uncg.edu