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RE: NPR Model of Publishing

The new model of the "circle of gifts" may need to anchor itself more
closely on the motivations and interests of each research entity.  In
other words, the researchers want to get their work out there and
recognized; the university is highly motivated to have the faculty and
their products also well-known.  I would argue that there is a higher
motivation to be recognized than there is to engage in philanthropy and
that funding along the former theme will be more forthcoming. Therefore, a
model of gifts in which each research entity provides the infrastructure
to ensure that the work of its community is widely distributed and
archived in perpetuity may be a more successful strategy in the long run.  
The practical application is that of the Open Archives initiative
supporting federated collections. Of course, those schools that do not
have access to the appropriate technology could be expected to pay for the

Kimberly Douglas
Director, Sherman Fairchild Library and Technical
Information Services
Caltech Library System 1-43
Pasadena, CA 91125

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul M. Gherman [mailto:Gherman@LIBRARY.Vanderbilt.edu]
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2000 9:31 AM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: NPR Model of Publishing

I would like to try an idea out on this group. I have felt for some time
that if we are to regain control of scholarly publishing we need to adopt
a "circle of gifts" model, where certain universities agree to host
specific discipline specific sites. Vanderbilt is considering developing a
publishing venture with several societies and other universities in a
field of archeology. The site would include a preprint server, a number of
current journals currently published by the societies with both current
and retrospective holdings, some of the society monographs, core texts
that are in the public domain but very difficult to find even via ILL,
high definition images of ancient texts which will likely need Internet II
to access, and reports of excavations including maps, architectural
elements, and images of artifacts in a searchable database. Many of not
all of these features will be linked and searchable.

The users of this material are located in this country, Britain, Russia,
and the middle east. The societies would like to see this material freely
available to users world- wide.

I would like to hear from you, if we were to make this site freely
available, universities would be willing to pledge support at a suggested
or defined level to support this project year to year in much the same way
we license information. Let's say $1,000 per major research university,
and some lesser amount for smaller institutions. We would state that if we
got enough pledges to support endevor we would go forward. And we would
also ask for much smaller pledges from other users in parts of the world
that could not affort to pledge at the full amount.

We might even have a pledge period for a week or two per year when the
site carried requests for donations like pledge week on NPR. Or we might
ask library contortia to help us with our pledge drive by contact members
for us.

Do you think this is a viable model for the long term support of a project
like this. Right now a portal site connected to this endevor gets from
5,000 to 7,000 hits per day. We see your site getting a far greater number
of hits.
Paul M. Gherman
University Librarian
611B General Library
419 21st Avenue South
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37240
Office: (615) 322-7120
Fax: (615) 343-8279