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RE: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

> Another certain cost savings is the savings to both libraries 
> and publishers of the need to maintain access control system, 
> subscription departments, and so on.

It's possible that an OA model would allow publishers to do away with
their subscription departments.  However, if David thinks that OA would
obviate the need for libraries to maintain serials departments, he is
(unfortunately) greatly mistaken.  Even if the entire publishing world
were to switch to an OA model, and even if all the money to support that
model were to come from someplace other than the library, then it's true
that serials staff would no longer be needed to pay invoices or request
access to online content.  However, serials staff would still be required
to find, verify and add URLs; to trouble-shoot access problems (which,
believe me, will not magically go away in an OA environment); to follow up
when URLs change; to provide information about new titles to the catalog
department; etc.

Of course, if something less than the entire publishing world were to
switch to an OA model, then access control systems will remain necessary
on the library side, and serials staff will still be required to do all of
the things they now do to support online access to commercial content as
well.  It's also worth noting that if libraries end up being part of the
payment system that OA necessarily entails, serials staffers will probably
be the ones to take on those administrative duties.

I don't say any of this out of professional defensiveness -- I would love
nothing more than to see the information world change in such a way as to
allow me to completely redeploy my serials staff.  But I don't see any
reason to expect that kind of change, even if the Great Day of Universal
OA does come.

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