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ERIC Number: EJ702742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr-15
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Closing in on Open Access
Van Orsdel, Lee; Born, Kathleen
Library Journal, v129 n7 p45 Apr 2004
In the last year the anger and frustration simmering in libraries for a decade or more over the growing dysfunction of the scholarly communications system found a voice, a cause, and a cadre of allies around the globe. This time, the voices that said, "No" to the Big Deals were those of faculty members and academic officers at some very prestigious institutions--Cornell, Harvard, the Research Triangle institutions in North Carolina, MIT, and, for a time, the University of California. Theirs were the "no's" heard round the world when the mainstream press, intrigued no doubt by the image of academics defiantly waving non-renewal letters in the face of corporate giants like Elsevier, picked up the stories. These universities spoke for many when they declared their intent to choose journal titles the old-fashioned way--year by year, title by title, based on the value of the content rather than the size of the package. The fate of the Big Deal will not be decided by one renewal season, but there are other signs that the extreme-profit model in the scholarly communications market is about to meet serious competition. The competition is advancing under the flag of the Open Access/Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The movement draws its passion from the belief that the monopolistic pricing of the current system seriously limits access to information and threatens an important public good. By restoring copyright to authors and by providing free and global access to scientific information, open access seeks to break the stranglehold of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishers. While the economics of the new model are going to be debatable for some time to come, the movement has accrued positive attention in venues both inside and outside of the academy. If the OAI movement succeeds in creating competition as hoped, it may be the long-awaited antidote to skyrocketing journal costs. (Contains 9 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; North Carolina