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RE: OA Now

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I'd like to offer a quick response to David Goodman's characterization that the University of California faculty have "ignored" a collectively constructed "policy." It may lead the list to consider or discuss more about the differences between principles, resolutions/intentions, policies, and verifiable actions or about the ability to build "coalitions" as Richard Fienman first inquired.

As a matter of accuracy, it is important to track both what is and is not "policy" as well as what the 10 separate UC campuses have done and what the university as a whole (and/or its faculty as a whole) has done. Peter Suber's blog and newsletter have covered these well, and a scan of http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/ also gives a snapshot. Of course faculty resolutions, including several candidates from 2003, as well as concomitant faculty actions (such as boycotts and refusals to donate labor to over-priced journals), have provided a very good foundation from which UC has taken further action.

These further actions, certainly no one of which is unique to UC, include, among many others, principled negotiations for content, support for alternative publishers and publishing business models, creation of the eScholarship repository and publishing platform (which hosts several OA journals), and support for value-based metrics such as the Bergstrom-McAfee indices.

Interestingly, the recent UC faculty-authored white paper titled "Responding to the Challenges Facing Scholarly Communication: The Case of Journal Publishing" (link below) includes further actions reminiscent of Richard Fienman's description (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/committees/scsc/reports.html). Other actions are called for in the companion papers to that one, the most explicit of which proposes specific new copyright management practices for UC faculty.

I would enjoy seeing this thread produce some more reports of, or speculation about, the formation and actions of a "coalition of librarians, editors and end-users."

John Ober, Director, Policy, Planning and Outreach
Office of Scholarly Communication
California Digital Library
University of California
john.ober@ucop.edu tel: (510) 987-0425 fax: (510) 893-5212

At 07:44 PM 3/28/2006 -0500, David Goodman wrote:
Dear Richard,

Your last paragraph proposes a perfectly sensible course of action, and similar policies were even possible in the print era. The University of California adopted just such a policy in 2003, with the enthuastic support of its faculty* -- who then proceeded to ignore it.

It is often an easy question what a university ought to do, but It's quite another matter getting them to do it.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

* http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/lists.htm#actions

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of Richard Feinman
Sent: Mon 3/27/2006 6:43 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: OA Now

How could this be done? A coalition of librarians, editors and
end-users could demand that existing publishers do this or could
move operations to an existing journal.  In other words, the
prestige of a journal is dependent on the collective opinions of
end-users, authors, reviewers and editors (many of whom are the
same people).  A group decision to define an OA journal as the
premier journal in a field is within their power. Journals that
refused to compete would be avoided by this group.

When could this be done?  How about now?

Richard D. Feinman, Professor of Biochemistry
(718) 871-1374
FAX: (718) 270-3316