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RE: Summary Paper from the Publishing Research Consortium

Heather's post below seems to miss some of the key points of the 
research that I will briefly summarise below:

1. The key issue seems to centre around the importance of a 
journal to the collection. Our research argues that in the 
context of OA repositories this is an irrelevant point. A series 
of OA repositories contain between them a percentage of the 
articles of any given journal. The articles, whether they be the 
ones in the journal or the archives (assuming they have been 
peer-reviewed) are the same content. The article or content 
"quality", therefore, becomes irrelevant when looking at the 
relative shift in preference for a variety of scenarios for 
cancellation. This point is explained in much greater detail in 
the full paper to which I would refer you.

2. As far as physics is concerned, much of the content in ArXiv 
is not the peer-reviewed version. This may be one of several 
reasons for the absence of cancellations in this area.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu [mailto:owner-liblicense-
> l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Heather Morrison
> Sent: 20 March 2007 21:50
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Summary Paper from the Publishing Research Consortium
> This paper is based on flawed research, as it is based on 
> librarian purchasing preferences, but omits key factors: 
> research and educational priorities of the university, and 
> faculty assessment of the importance of journals.  It is when 
> we take the latter factor into account that we can understand 
> the experience of physics, where nearly 100% open access 
> through self-archiving has peacefully coexisted with a 
> subscription-based system for more than 15 years.
> My original comment to the SPARC Open Access Forum, November 
> 14, 2006:
> This study is interesting, however as a librarian my comment is 
> that the assumptions underlying the study illustrate a lack of 
> understanding of the basic decision-making process of the 
> academic librarian collections specialist.
> This study looks at 6 attributes and assesses librarian 
> preferences, in an attempt to predict cancellations of 
> subscriptions in favor of open access materials if articles are 
> available in archives.
> Elements of the model examined:
> Version of Article
> Percentage of a Journal's Articles that are Available
> Reliability of Access
> How up-to-date is the content
> Quality of the content
> Cost
> The problem with this, is that the primary factors determining 
> collections decisions are not taken into account:  research and 
> educational priorities of the university, and faculty 
> assessment of the importance of journals.  When we take these 
> factors into account, we can see why it makes sense that 
> librarians continue to subscribe to physics journals, even when 
> prices are considered high and virtually all of the articles 
> are available for free in arXiv.
> In other words, the answers this study have found really do not 
> matter, because it did not ask the right questions.  Research 
> into librarians' collections decisions might be best led by 
> librarians.
> Original post at:
> https://mx2.arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OAForum/Message/3450.html
> More discussion about this study, including comments from one 
> of the principal investigators, Chris Beckett, can be found in 
> the SPARC Open Access Forum Archives for November 2006.
> Any opinion expressed in this message is that of the author 
> alone, and does not reflect the opinion or policy of the BC 
> Electronic Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.
> Heather Morrison
> http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com