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Re: Growth for STM publishers in 2008

... which raises the interesting question whether it should be a 
primary purpose of OA to save money for private industry, which 
would otherwise need to pay for access as a cost of doing 
business.  Is the university community willing to pay more--by 
way of supporting OA journals and paying faculty fees for 
publishing in Gold OA journals--for the sake of subsidizing the 
research needs of private industry? And recall that the court 
that decided the Texaco case did not feel it was "fair" for 
Texaco to be making photocopies of journal articles for its 
researchers because its ultimate purpose was "commercial."

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State University Press

>      * The stm Report states: "... speculative, resting on
>        flawed and untested assumptions about the levels of
>        current access...". The levels of access are discussed
>        at length in the JISC report, as is the basis for the
>        parameters used in estimating the potential impacts on
>        returns to R&D spending. Data sources and references are
>        given. Moreover, its difficult to see how the potential
>        5% increase in accessibility modelled in the JISC study
>        could realistically be described as "underestimated...
>        the levels of access enjoyed by UK researchers" in the
>        light of the evidence. Just to take one example, a
>        recent survey of UK small firm (SME) access to journal
>        articles by Mark Ware Consulting
>        (http://www.publishingresearch.net/SMEaccess.htm) found
>        that 73% of UK-based SMEs report difficulties accessing
>        the journal articles they need, and that just 2% of SME,
>        7% of large firm and 17% of higher education-based
>        researchers reported having access to all the articles
>        they need for their work (page 13, table 2). The same
>        report notes that there are 4.7 million businesses in
>        the UK of which 99.3% have fewer than 50 employees, and
>        it would appear from reported sample sizes that 2% of
>        SMEs equates to just 4 firms. On page 22 the report
>        notes that 71% of SMEs reported using open access
>        journals and 42% reported using institutional
>        repositories. On page 30 the report also notes "Several
>        firms were enjoying access via the libraries of the
>        universities where they had previously worked. It was
>        not entirely clear whether this use would have been
>        legitimate under the terms of the libraries' licences."
>        Only Mark knows whether there was any overlap between
>        the 4 SMEs and the "several firms...", or between the 4
>        SMEs that reported having access to all the articles
>        they needed and the 132 small firms that reported using
>        OA journals.
>John Houghton
>Victoria University