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Varmus in the Chronicle (RE: Copyright and OA: New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education)

Reading Guterman's fine article in the Chronicle, I was struck by this

"Dr. Varmus responds, 'It pains me to hear officers of scientific
societies say, "We can't move to open access because our society will
fold."' He urges them to adapt to any loss of subscription income by
finding other ways to raise revenues. 'They shouldn't be surviving by
denying to their members the virtues of Internet-based open-access
publication,' he says."

I don't know Dr. Varmus -- is his attitude really this breezy and
unrealistic?  "Just find the money somewhere else" strikes me as a
less-than-helpful response to the real-world economic concerns of
societies for which journal subscriptions have been a major (and perhaps
THE major) source of revenue.

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 4:32 AM
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Copyright and OA: New York Times and Chronicle of Higher
> Education
> Following a lengthy and most useful piece in the NY Times Magazine this
> weekend called "The Tyranny of Copyright?" January 25, 2004, by
> Robert S.
> Boynton (you can read this for free online if you register for the NY
> Times), today's Chronicle of Higher Education (online) carries a
> collection of views about the future of technology, by educational leaders
> such as Ed Ayers (U Virginia) and Charles Vest (President, MIT).
> Additionally see several pieces on Open Access for scholarly journals.
> The Chronicle offers a mix of for-free and by subscription articles.
> 2 Routes to Open Access: Archives and Institutional Subscriptions
> Publishers Fear Government Intervention
> The Promise and Peril of 'Open Access': Free-subscription journals may
> loosen commercial publishers' stranglehold on scientific research, but
> skeptics say they're no panacea
> These are good syntheses of the state of play today.  However, I was
> surprised at the perspective that we will either choose traditional
> business models (subscriptions) or Open Access (author and others pay up
> front), as if this the outcome must be all one or the other, rather than
> increasing diversity in both what is published and under what financial
> model. After all, within its own gates, the Chronicle offers a mixed model
> to readers, at least to some extent.
> Ann Okerson/liblicense-l moderator