[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Cornell Senate Resolution

Below is the press release on Cornell's Faculty Senate Resolution, passed last week. Apologies for cross-posting.

Cornell University Faculty Senate Endorses Resolution on Open Access and Scholarly Communication

(Ithaca, NY, May 17, 2005) The Cornell University Faculty Senate endorsed
a resolution concerning scholarly publishing at its meeting on May 11,

The resolution, introduced by the University Faculty Library Board,
responds to the increasingly excessive prices of some scholarly
publications and encourages the open access publication of scholarship.

Sarah E. Thomas, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, thanked the
University Faculty Library Board for their energetic engagement on behalf
of increasing dissemination of scholarship through open access. "Cornell
faculty have been leaders in speaking out on behalf of reasonably priced
scholarly journals, and their efforts have had a world-wide impact," she

The resolution urges tenured faculty to cease supporting publishers who
engage in exorbitant pricing, by not submitting papers to, or refereeing
for, the journals sold by those publishers, and by resigning from their
editorial boards if more reasonable pricing policies are not forthcoming.

Examples of Cornell faculty and librarians who have already taken action

Eberhard Bodenschatz, professor of physics, who became the editor in chief
of the New Journal of Physics, a successful open access journal. The
journal is financed by author charges, is free for all readers through the
world-wide web, and provides a less-expensive, high quality scholarly

W. Brutsaert, W.L. Lewis professor of civil and environmental engineering,
publishes his work in society journals. He notes most commercial journals
do not levy page charges and states "this is a seductive tactic for
academic authors, who are invariably strapped for research funds. But it
is definitely a poisoned gift. The pricing structure of many commercial
journals has gotten so totally out of hand that many libraries can no
longer afford to subscribe to them. As a result, authors who continue to
give preference to commercial over society journals will go increasingly
unread by their colleagues."

Karen Calhoun, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services,
recently resigned as assistant editor for the journal Library Collections,
Acquisitions and Technical Services because of publisher Elsevier's
pricing policies; she also chose to seek publication of a scholarly
article in a different journal.

The resolution follows and is available via Cornell University Library's
scholarly communication Website: <http://www.library.cornell.edu/scholarlycomm/resolution.html>http://www.library.cornell.edu/scholarlycomm/resolution.html


Cornell Faculty Senate resolution on scholarly publishing, passed 11 May
2005 Resolution from the University Faculty Library Board Concerning
Scholarly Publishing

WHEREAS Cornell's longstanding commitment to the free and open
publication, presentation and discussion of research advances the
interests of the scholarly community, the faculty individually, and the
public, and

WHEREAS certain publishers of scholarly journals continually raise their
prices far above the level that could be reasonably justified by their
costs, and

WHEREAS the activities of these publishers directly depend upon the
continued participation of faculty at Cornell and similar institutions
acting as editors, reviewers, and authors, and

WHEREAS a lasting solution to this problem requires not only interim
measures but also a long range plan, and

WHEREAS publication in open access journals and repositories is an
increasingly effective option for scholarly communication,


The Senate calls upon all faculty to become familiar with the pricing
policies of journals in their specialty.1

The Senate strongly urges tenured faculty to cease supporting publishers
who engage in exorbitant pricing, by not submitting papers to, or
refereeing for, the journals sold by those publishers, and by resigning
from their editorial boards if more reasonable pricing policies are not

Reaffirming and broadening the proposals discussed during its meeting of
December 17, 2003, the Senate strongly urges the University Library to
negotiate vigorously with publishers who engage in exorbitant pricing and
to reduce serial acquisitions from these publishers based on a reasonable
measure of those subscriptionsrelative importance to the collection,
taking into account any particular needs of scholars in certain
disciplinary areas.

The Senate strongly encourages all faculty, and especially tenured
faculty, to consider publishing in open access, rather than restricted
access, journals or in reasonably priced journals that make their contents
openly accessible shortly after publication.3

The Senate strongly urges all faculty to negotiate with the journals in
which they publish either to retain copyright rights and transfer only the
right of first print and electronic publication, or to retain at a minimum
the right of postprint archiving.4

The Senate strongly urges all faculty to deposit preprint or postprint
copies of articles in an open access repository such as the Cornell
University DSpace Repository or discipline-specific repositories such as


This matter has been before the Senate previously. On December 17, 2003,
the Senators present unanimously supported the Cornell University
Library's efforts to control spiraling acquisition costs by tough
negotiations with certain journal publishers who were exploiting their
market power.

Since that date the underlying problem of certain publishers charging
excessive prices for subscriptions has continued, driven by stock market
forces that demand ever-higher profits. At the same time, these journals
could not even exist without the faculty who submit papers and act as
editors and reviewers.

The resolution has been helpful to the Library in resisting the price
increases and in protecting its acquisition budgets, so that funds are not
transferred from other disciplines to pay the excessive prices from
certain publishers. However, this is still a severe problem.

As regards copyright, faculty should realize that documents sent to
authors by publishers to transfer copyright are often negotiable. Many
publishers have alternative copyright arrangements for those who do not
want to transfer copyright. See also Footnote 4.

Also over the past few years, open access journals and repositories have
emerged as an important extension of or alternative to conventional
journal publication in many disciplines, though far from all.

Definition of open access from Peter Suber's web page: Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright
and licensing restrictions.


1 See, e.g., <http://oap.comm.nsdl.org/10most.html>http://oap.comm.nsdl.org/10most.html (listing 2005 prices of journals in various disciplines); <http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/faculty/facultyeconomics.htm>http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/faculty/facultyeconomics.htm (providing general journal price info).

2 See, e.g., <http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/addendum.html%20>http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/addendum.html (discussing what faculty referees and editors can do to
change journal policies).

3 See, e.g., <http://www.doaj.org/>http://www.doaj.org/ (listing peer-reviewed open access journals); <http://www.earlham.edu/%7epeters/fos/do.htm#faculty%20>http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/do.htm#faculty (providing advice and sources for open access publishing);
<http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/toolkit.htm>http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/toolkit.htm (same);

4 See, e.g., <http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/addendum.html%20>http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/addendum.html (providing a form to use to retain necessary rights);
<http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/faculty/facultyauthorcontrol.htm>http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/scholarlycomm/scholarlycommunicationtoolkit/faculty/facultyauthorcontrol.htm (providing model agreements and negotiation advice) . See also <http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php?stats=yes>http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php?stats=yes by Project SHERPA (<http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/>http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/)(listing journals that permit such archiving without special

5 See, e.g., <http://www.earlham.edu/%7Epeters/fos/do.htm#faculty%20>http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/do.htm#faculty (describing methods and results of open-access

Cornell University Library is one of the 10 largest academic research
libraries in the United States. Comprised of twenty libraries, it offers
close to 8 million printed volumes, more than 60,000 journals, and access
to more than 150,000 electronic publications and databases.

Ross Atkinson
Associate University Librarian
for Collections
201 Olin Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-5301

telephone: (607) 255-5181
fax: (607) 255-6788