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RE: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study

I'm still puzzled. The library budget money come from where? 
Possibly from the same sources as grant money? Possibly from 
'overheads' taken off grants by the institutions?

Isn't it time for some joined-up approach?

Jan Velterop

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of Rick Anderson
Sent: Wed 5/16/2007 11:40 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study

> While I can agree with much of what Rick Anderson says here, 
> his last sentence is puzzling. As one of the serious problems 
> of Gold OA he quotes "the significant amount of money that a 
> widespread Gold OA solution would redirect from needed 
> research."
> How so? Why would publishing become more expensive when the way 
> to sustain it changes? If one thinks that Gold OA would 
> redirect a significant amount of money away from needed 
> research, what about subscriptions? Don't subscriptions do the 
> same? Doesn't any money that sustains journals?

The money that currently supports commercial journals comes from 
library budgets and from individual subscribers, not from 
granting agencies.  If all of the expensive journals to which my 
library subscribes were suddenly to move to an author-funded OA 
publishing model (and therefore become freely available to the 
public), the most likely scenario is that my institution would 
(quite rationally) drastically cut the library budget.  The 
savings would be redirected to other areas of the university 
where they are sorely needed, and authors would write their 
publication costs into their grant proposals.  Money from 
granting agencies that would have supported research will thereby 
end up subsidizing free public access to the research results.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  It depends: will the
general public benefit more from universal free access to a
smaller amount of research or from toll-based access to more
research?  The answer may vary -- but there's no way that
redirecting research funds towards publication can fail to reduce
the amount of research done.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries