Thursday, June 4, 2009

University Press Directors Argue for Open Access to Scholarly Research

The directors of ten US and Canadian University Presses have issued a position statement on Free Access to Scholarly Journal Articles:

1. The undersigned university press directors support the dissemination of scholarly research as broadly as possible.
2. We support the free access to scientific, technical, and medical journal articles no later than 12 months after publication. We understand that the length of time before free release of journal articles will by necessity vary for other disciplines.
3. We support the principle that scholarly research fully funded by governmental entities is a public good and should be treated as such. We support legislation that strengthens this principle and oppose legislation designed to weaken it.
4. We support the archiving and free release of the final, published version of scholarly journal articles to ensure accuracy and citation reliability.
5. We will work directly with academic libraries, governmental entities, scholarly societies, and faculty to determine appropriate strategies concerning dissemination options, including institutional repositories and national scholarly archives.

This stance puts these directors squarely at odds with the attitude of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) -- see, for example, a September 10, 2008 letter from the AAUP. For an overview of the debate see Scott Jaschik's article, "Split Over Open Access", in Inside Higher Ed (6/04/2009)

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