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RE: Library response to BioMed Central's new Institutional Membership Program

Librarian's objections to the BioMed model of page charges, if that is
what you want to call them is very short-sighted. The one-time payment per
article assures that that article will be available to the world in
perpetuity. This is a far different model that each of us paying per
article under the current system. I have strongly supported this concept
for a number of years as an eventual means of allowing much lower cost
access by the world, (not just those able to pay) to information.

If we carry this model forward, there is hope that we can eventually sign
a pact with publishers that ownership of information remains with the
authors while we take the risk out of publishing which is the reason why
publishers claim they need the protections of copyright in the first
place. By the BioMed model, the publisher recovers their investment and
some profit regardless whether or not a single subscription is sold, and
in return, the world gains free access to this information.

For a full description of what I am talking about see:

Electronic Publishing: A New Financial Model in the SPARC Newletter


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