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

A good case in point of a granting agency that provides money to support research but not dissemination is the NEH, which once had a Publication Subvention Program until the Reagan-era budget ax eliminated it in 1995. That was one of the very few general sources of subsidies for books in the humanities, and its loss was a blow to us university presses and to publication of books in the humanities.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State Press

But money spent on 'gold' OA is not 'removed' from research,
 particularly not if you understand and accept that formally
 publishing the results is integral to doing research.
That's a political argument -- a "should" argument -- rather than
a statement of fact.  This is a statement of fact: it costs a
certain amount of money to create information by performing
research, and it is entirely possible (whether or not desirable)
to do research and then publish nothing.  If you choose to
publish the results of your research, additional costs will be
involved.  There are many granting agencies that have
traditionally provided money to support the creation of
information through research, but not the formal publication or
distribution of it.  There may be good arguments for having those
granting agencies start funding the second part as well -- but
there's no way for them to do so without redirecting money from
their support of actual research.  A good argument, it seems to
me, would need to demonstrate that the general welfare is better
served by the free distribution of less information than it is by
the creation of more information.

By the way, I'm happy to keep rephrasing this basic point as many
times as it takes.  :-)

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