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Re: Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2009

I believe Sandy's argument is correct.  I have made these very 
points to clients over the years, most of whom stubbornly insist 
that technology comes into being to support the very things that 
they had been doing for years before the technology came into 

Two comments, however.  Sandy's point #7, which addresses the 
reasons for library support of open access, might have reached 
out more broadly to another category of OA supporters, those who 
see OA as a natural outgrowth of Web technology.  They have a 
point.  In the consumer world, this is the "information wants to 
be free crowd," which sounds unreflective, but in fact there are 
many subtle arguments about this that have nothing to do with a 
war between libraries and aggressive commercial publishers.

The second point is that libraries are evolving into hosting 
organizations, effectively broadening their role in collecting to 
include publishing-like services.  This is a natural outgrowth of 
the support of OA.

Joe Esposito

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 9:24 PM, Sandy Thatcher <sgt3@psu.edu> 

> This new Ithaka report, read in conjunction with an earlier
> Ithaka  report on "University Publishing in a Digital Age" 
> 2007), leads  me to an interesting hypothesis: scientists are
> responsible for  changes in the ways both libraries and presses
> operate in  universities that may threaten job losses in the
> future.
> I mean "responsible" in a causal, not moral sense, in the way 
> often say that the bad weather was "responsible" for the 
> of  schools. Indeed, it is easy to see what happened here as a
> prime  example of the law of unintended consequences, or even
> Murphy's  Law-just the sort of phenomenon that my college
> classmate Edward  Tenner wrote about in his best-selling Why
> Things Bite Back:  Technology and the Revenge of Unintended
> Consequences (Knopf, 1996).
> Since the line of reasoning that brings me to this perhaps
> startling  conclusion is somewhat circuitous, I may need to 
> it out in a  longer piece, perhaps the next one I write for
> Against the Grain.  But I'll provide the bare bones of it here 
> a series of  propositions: