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Re: The elephant in the room

A national license model exists in one or two markets: Brazil and 
Greece are examples. There are upsides and downsides with them, 
not least considerable time spent negotiating the arrangements. 
Small publishers will find it hard to break into such 
negotiations for the same reason as they find it hard to take a 
share of library budgets. Hence solutions like ALPSP ejournal 
collection whereby small publishers can gather in a "shoal" to 
compete with the big boys. (I should point out that I will be 
ALPSP chair from Jan). Toby

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

----- Original Message -----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu <owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Tue Dec 01 03:34:53 2009
Subject: Re: The elephant in the room

Fred is of course dead right, and this threat to scholarly
communication is by no means new. On the one hand you have the
greed and cunning of big publishing, forever thinking up new ways
of grinding more money out of libraries, and on the other - and
apologies for saying so on this list - the gullibility of
librarians in falling for it! And thats before even mentioning
complete rackets like site licensing and FTE payment models. Of
course everyone discussing these matters, while having a
legitimate interest in scholarly communication, has a partisan
position. As a 'fringe' publisher, I have lost count of the
number of times librarians have said that they would like to buy
more of our journals but, given that 75% of their budget is
pre-empted by certain large combines, sorry no can do. Which is a
shame. Fringe publishers offerings are necessarily niche; one can
interpret that to mean 'worthless'; I however would interpret it
as adding richness and detail to the landscape of scholarly
communications. While I agree with Fred that the wholesale
collapse of scholarly communication is a possibility, I am not
convinced that OA (yet) offers anything more than superficial
attractions. Because fringe publishers necessarily have small
sales, one way of supporting them, and so supporting diversity in
publishing, could be through national licences, where a central
body subscribes to a publishers output on behalf of all
universities/like bodies in its country. Need not cost much,
could be a simple answer to one part of the problem.

Bill Hughes
Multi-Science Publishing