[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
the role of librarians in providing access
- Subject: the role of librarians in providing access
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 18:56:42 EDT
- Reply-to: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
I really do think there is an argument abroad that green self-archiving is worth engaging in because it will give experience in developing repositories, providing access, etc. But: why not cut to the chase? Why stumble over some pocket change en route to picking up the one thousand dollar bill that lies ahead on the sidewalk? Why not directly engage in infrastructural initiatives that will concurrently resolve access, affordability, preservation, and any number of other interwoven issues? If we librarians are to spend 5 or at 10 % of our valuable "free time" on an interesting project, imho it should be on promoting academic gold (whether institutionally subsidized or author pays, though I'm skeptical about the viability of the latter), and academically owned low-cost solutions, not self- archiving. Academic ownership of publishing is key; only then will the publishing monoliths be challenged. I will qualify my remarks somewhat. Perhaps, if it can be proved that green self-archiving is a very easy by-product of experience gained in promoting the afore-mentioned infrastructure, then librarians *may* want to spend *some* time providing it for faculty, if it does not significantly detract from attending to infrastructural, long lasting and stable solutions. However, I'm hard- pressed to find reason to do so, given the opportunity cost it would incur on pursuing a more viable infrastructure. It could well just be a time-draining impediment. Green remains, at best a secondary and ancillary goal, given that the goal of 100 per cent green, imho, will not be achieved, as argued elsewhere. Nor should it be pursued very vigorously by librarians, since it plays into the hands of commercial publisher "largesse" that can be pulled at any time when it becomes anything remotely approaching a threat to them. Incidentally, consider that those researchers who have tenure, and even some portion of those busy ones who do not, will not be sufficiently swayed about arguments concerning impact of research to find the motivation to green self- archive. For many scientists, an impending tenure decision supplies the animus that guides their initially feverish interest in publishing. Assuming they make the grade, some portion continue feverishly, but some large portion look forward to a bit of administrative work, refining their teaching, a glass of wine at the end of the day while watching Jim Lehrer, or playing with their grandchildren. Impact of research remains for them a concern, but whatever marginal benefits in terms of research impact that might accrue will not sufficiently motivate them to self-archive. They're happy if the small circle of workers in their niche see their work--and they will, one way or another. (This would be an interesting study: how many scientists use email attachments to forward their research around to the small circle of people in their niche, regardless of copyrigh provisions.) And there is this significant datum: *some* researchers are interested in the reform of publishing and access. Most, however, at least in the first world, grouse to their librarians when they cannot get to an unsubscribed title, but go ahead and submit an interlibrary request to achieve delayed access. Provision of rush services by ILL dept's are worth studying in this context. In any event, researchers for the most part do not regard it as their job to improve provision immediate access. They complain that they cannot get the goods immediately, but much of their involvement ends in just that--complaining. By the way, it is puzzling why ILL has so much dropped out of discussions of access; it works quite well around here, despite delays. I recognize that ILL in the third world is surely highly problematic, given that its success relies on a stock of publications held by at least one participating institution. But it does not follow that green self-archiving will provide a viable solution to this. Enough said. Brian Simboli ____
- Prev by Date: Palgrave Macmillan to become official publisher for the OfficeforNational Statistics (ONS)
- Next by Date: Beam me up Scotty!
- Previous by thread: Palgrave Macmillan to become official publisher for the OfficeforNational Statistics (ONS)
- Next by thread: Beam me up Scotty!