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

The library budgets are funded by multiple sources. Send a kid to college and see.

It seems very hard to make the point that OA is not in the interest of research universities, but that is the critical point. Phil Davis notes that 200 institutions produce 85% of all research. Allowing for the reasonable objection that we need to know how that 85% figure was derived, it nonetheless seems to me that the intriguing question is what percentage the top 25 institutions produce. It's going to be a big number.

Why would the top 25 give this away? They are all (with the exception of the 2-3 with endowments that would awe Croesus) struggling to finance their operations, and they are to give away these riches? Why is it that McGraw-Hill and Thomson can make money with publications based on research, but the University of Illinois, Tufts, and the University of Michigan cannot (taking as my examples three outstanding institutions that nonetheless lack the cachet of a handful of others)? The top research institutions should take control of their intellectual property and commercialize it, not for the good of the world but to benefit themselves.

Consider the alternatives: A university president could take a huge gift from a pharmaceutical company, a grant that comes with strings attached. Or a donor could fund a new program, slowly nudging university research into areas that appeal to the fancies of the rich. Shall we spend a moment on grants from the Department of Defense?

Proprietary publishing, aka toll-access publishing, when placed in the hands of the universities themselves (where, it must be said, it absolutely does NOT currently reside), would provide a mechanism for funding research by distributing the costs to the users, the beneficiaries of that information. It would enable institutions to pursue their own research agendas. And that is for the good of the world.

Joe Esposito

----- Original Message -----
From: "Velterop, Jan, Springer UK" <Jan.Velterop@springer.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>; <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 3:27 PM
Subject: 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