Posted on October 8, 2012.
It has been a busy few weeks on the Open Access (or access in general) front. Here are a few of the top stories and summaries of each:
- Google and the Association of American Publishers reached an agreement, ending a seven year lawsuit between the Google Library Project and five publishers – McGraw-Hill; Pearson Education; Penguin Group (USA); John Wiley & Sons; and Simon & Schuster. Publishers can choose to keep their works in Google or not. Those who do not withdraw have an option of receiving a personal, digital copy. It is unclear whether or not withdrawn works will affect those appearing in HathiTrust.
- SCOAP3: The entire field of high energy physics (HEP) and particle physics is set to go completely open access. The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) will hold libraries responsible for fronting costs to keep the final version of particle physics articles open for access. While many pre-prints in these scientific fields are housed openly in the arXiv database, final published versions have always been accessible through paid-subscription journals only. The pricing plans for SCOAP3 are unclear but could mirror a membership model sustainability which arXiv has instituted. Stay tuned..
- RedCube Access from Labtiva: Two Harvard PhD candidates, frustrated with access issues of their own, are experimenting with an iTunes-like model of getting access to scientific journal articles. The idea is to keep costs low for both the researcher and libraries as well. RedCube is currently being tested by both Nature and the University of Utah libraries. Users can “rent” an article (costing the library $6 or less an article) or buy, at the library expense of $11 or less an article. Another hang up is the fact that articles can’t be printed nor shared (similar in iTunes). While some libraries agree the current access system is “broken”, RedCube could potentially cost libraries more money in the long run.
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted on February 8, 2012.
Elsevier is notoriously known as being one of the most expensive and challenging publishers to bargain with in the academic publication world, and many academic library budgets feel nearly overtaken with Elsevier journals. Libraries have had to hold their breath as they pay their invoice, and in some instances have been forced to drop big deals altogether when a favorable contract could not be reached.
Now it seems that the researchers and faculty that publish in and use these journals are taking note of the expenses - and doing something about it.
An online petition, started by Tyler Nylon in response to an initial blog outcry from Timothy Gowers (University of Cambridge), has spread across the web and, as of this posting, received 4642 signatures. Faculty in multiple universities are staging a boycott of the Elsevier giant, vowing not to publish in or partake in any reviews board activities of Elsevier content. Instead, the singatories are turning towards the ever growing trend of open access, encouraging others to publish their works in freely accessible journals which are growing in stature and sophistication.
Also on the petition? Calling out Elsevier on taking sides with the Research Works Act which threatens research from grant funded studies, like the NIH, being disseminated freely. While the act itself seems dead in the water, the potential of squeezing such terminology into other legislation is always a possibility and one that librarians will want to keep their eye on.
Elsevier has responded in defending their practices by describing the labor that goes into publishing journals of the highest caliber and that digitizing their materials has actually opened up access and brought down the cost per use.
Does your library provide access to Elsevier journals? Do you feel their pricing and licensing agreements are unfair, or are they justified due to the content and reputation of the publications? How do you feel about this faculty boycott? Please leave your comments below.
Posted in Division