[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: GWLA letter
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: GWLA letter
- From: Brian Simboli <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 07:50:32 EDT
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
Thanks to David and Joe for your comments.
One thing that leads me to be very sceptical about OA author fees is that they will replicate the economics of high pricing in traditional subscription model.
Will third world countries be able to foot the tolls required on this model to get published in high prestige journals? Is that not itself a barrier to access, understood as a barrier to disseminate knowledge in high profile journals? Just how much largesse will the commercials be willing to extend in waiving author fees for the poor countries?
Will universities rise to the call? I doubt it, for the reasons David gives, but on the other hand I see the wonderful digital preservation projects that they are engaged in, which in a way give them practice with doing a kind of publishing. And then there are the university presses, but yes, they have to reconceptualize themselves.
David Goodman wrote:
I continue to totally disagree with my friend Brian about this. Affordable journals have always been possible the Henderson route of increased library funding, or library refusal to buy the most expensive titles, or publisher decision to go for long-term stability and not quarterly profits. None of these benefit anyone outside universities. All they do is bring the slightly less wealthy and the smaller universities up to the level of the largest and most wealthy ones. This is certainly something that can be done, but it will be done optimally as one of the group of benefits from OA. OA is about something much more important: access without barriers so it doesn't matter which university you're in, if any, or what your academic status may be, or whether or not you live near the state university, or whether you're in a poor country and don't want to be dependent on charity. It also has the side effect of helping the work of university libraries. Joe E posted today about sunk costs from systems that become obsolete. We have put a great deal of effort and money into dealing with authorization barriers. With OA journals we wouldn't need SfX. Similarly with Document Delivery systems--we have developed good ones, and they are expensive, and I still take pride in having developed a particularly good local solution. I've worked on this sort of thing most of my working life. I've taught student users how to do it. I've taught library school students how to teach their student users to do it. All of this is in principle obsolete and unnecessary, and could quickly be obsolete in reality. I do not regret having done in for the 20 years or so I did, because there was then nothing better. To have helped researchers during those years was to be of use to science, just as showing them how to use the print abstracts services was useful. I do resent finding it necessary to teach access control systems to students now, when it is not necessary, when it is only there because of inability to move rapidly and cooperatively, even when the optimal direction is known and the amount of money is about the same. After many years, I have discovered nothing about universities or especially university libraries that make them suitable to devise new ways of publishing. We do not need new way of publishing. We have publishers. We have editors. We have e-journals; we have authors and users. We don't have to reinvent anything. We just have to transfer the same money in a slightly different direction:nstead of buying subscriptions, we pay article fees. Some universities, which can well afford it, will come out slightly behind others in financially unless there is an important gain of efficiency. Without the artifical barriers to productivity, we can work on the real ones. Dr. David Goodman Palmer School of Library and Information Science Long Island University and formerly Bibliographer and Research Librarian Princeton University Library firstname.lastname@example.org