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

Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates

We are not just more likely but certain to be able to have the 
money used for subsidizing article publishing in open access 
journals, because the money will be used for this purpose whether 
we will or no.

The faculty and administrators want money for the purpose, and 
the savings by canceling journals is an exceedingly attractive 
source. Furthermore, it is hard to argue otherwise, for 
ultimately the money is being used for the same purpose, to 
support scientific communication through journals. I cannot 
imagine any administrator giving the library money to purchase 
large commercial journals once the contents of these journals 
will be available without payment, and I cannot imagine any 
faculty that would not agree.

The only real question is the degree that the control of this 
money will be in the hands of the library.

Unless libraries make serious plans for the use of this money by 
supporting publication in distinctive ways, such as editing 
faculty publications or subsidizing the local production of 
journals, I do not think there could be a strong case for 
retaining the money in the library budget. its the people without 
specific attractive projects who lose out in budgeting.

Strategically, Stevan Harnard is right that the best way of 
keeping control the money will be to cancel the journals as soon 
as practical, before we are compelled to, and immediately use the 
money for appropriate ends. If we take action only defensively, 
it is not likely that we will be able to retain or control the 
money. With luck, we might be able to retain some of it for 
books, but not if we wait until the money is removed over our 
opposition or hesitancy.

If the university expects to be able to pay for all publication 
fees through a combination of internal and external funds, the 
support should probably be administered in a routine way through 
the research office, just as other research support is managed.

If the university expects to be able to supply only part of the 
money necessary, it would be much better administered outside the 
library, because the library does not have the practical power to 
deal with the demands of competing groups--it will be much more 
hazardous than administering the division of acquisition funds, 
because it will affect individual faculty members very directly.

There is no reason for libraries to expect funding for functions 
they do not perform, and our best chance of retaining adequate 
funding for our unique purposes of bibliographic and reference 
assistance is to concentrate on this, and adapt our organization 
to realities.

I consider myself an optimist in this, for I think it will be 
possible for the profession to adapt.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.

----- Original Message -----
From: Sandy Thatcher <sgt3@psu.edu>
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:29 pm
Subject: Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu

> Yes, it is true that "if and when institutions ever 'do' cancel 
> subscriptions, that money will then be freed to pay for Gold OA 
> costs." What still remains "speculative," however, is whether 
> that is the actual use to which that "freed" money will be put.
> University presses have long harbored the hope that "if and 
> when" this scenario unfolds, the "freed" money will once again 
> be devoted to purchasing monographs, whose sales have suffered 
> mightily ever since the STM crisis began way back in the late 
> 1960s. But every librarian I have asked about this replies 
> "ain't gonna happen." There are plenty of other needs that 
> libraries have to which "freed" money can be 
> devoted-digitization projects, archiving, licensing other 
> electronic resources, etc. If they are reluctant to spend it on 
> such a central resource as monographs, then what chance is 
> there that they are likely to start subsidizing faculty who 
> want to publish in Gold OA journals?
> Would librarians on this list care to comment?
> Sandy Thatcher
> Director, Penn State Press