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I ask David,Joe, and others to take a look at the efforts of just one mid-sized university in producing digital publications, if you will, openly accessible to the public: http://digital.lib.lehigh.edu/

Now consider the networking capabilities of a large consortium in pulling together the efforts of member institutions in this regard. I fully grasp David point that "after many years, I have discovered nothing about universities or especially university libraries that make them suitable to devise new ways of publishing." On the other hand, there is infrastructure and support for new initiatives.

Whether universities will be able to leverage the experience gained from engaging in these initiatives to take on the commercials is again something about which I'm skeptical, but this is now a question of coordination not of technological or financial means.