When the American Association for the Advancement of Science announced in late July that it would pull its flagship journal, Science, from JSTOR, the popular, nonprofit digital archive of scholarly publications, the association cast its decision as a natural evolution.
According to the announcement, the AAAS, as the association is known, was merely joining "an increasing number" of large scientific-society journals that were "digitizing and controlling their own content."
Why, then, are so many librarians kicking up a ruckus about it? . . . .
Looking at the AAAS's decision, librarians see more than a clash between profit seeking and the association's mission. They fear that the group's abandonment of JSTOR is the beginning of a trend that will make libraries regret having eliminated print subscriptions and removed journals from shelves. They also wonder how libraries at smaller institutions and in poorer countries will be able to afford new subscriptions to titles removed from "online aggregators" like JSTOR.
Even large library systems say the move, which could push them to return to print journals, may create a new space crunch. . . .