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The silver lining

Sandy Thatcher expressed very well the fear that self-archiving could lead to a "tipping point" which could cause massive disruption to the scholarly publishing system. Sandy suggests that, even without cancellations, it is possible that highly profitable publishers could still decide to leave the business. If even a few of the large players were to leave the system, Sandy argues, journals would have no where to go, as university presses such as Penn State do not have the resources to pick up all these journals.

The silver lining in this scenario: if even a few of the large, highly profitable publishers were to suddenly decide to go into another business - then libraries and universities would have plenty of cash left over from subscription budgets they could no longer spend , and this cash would then be available to help scholars transition their journals, some through newly resourced university presses.

It is always possible, of course, that the few very highly profitable publishers, continuing to enjoy high profits, would not exodus the scholarly publishing system en masse after all.

For more detail, please see my blogpost, Transitioning to Open Access: Beyond Fear of Change, at: http://tinyurl.com/ygyspt

Sandy Thatcher's original post to Liblicense:

Welcome to Liblicense, Sandy!

Don't miss the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
July 11 - 13, 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada