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

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

If I interpret what David is saying correctly, this means that scientists carry so much more political clout on most campuses that what they deem to be a priority use of funds will determine where they are re-directed, as opposed to the humanist scholars who might actually benefit from having more money spent on monograph purchases since, as the MLA report so clearly demonstrated, the monograph still is very much the "gold standard" for promotion and tenure in their fields. Isn't it time for the humanists to rebel?

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State University Press

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