Friday, September 23, 2011

Internet Ruffles Pricey Scholarly Journals

D. D. Guttenplan, in an 18th September, 2011 article in The New York Times (Europe) considers the growth of open access journals and the various reactions to them.

The opening paragraphs:
LONDON — After decades of healthy profits, the scholarly publishing industry now finds itself in the throes of a revolt led by the most unlikely campus revolutionaries: the librarians.

Universities from Britain to California are refusing to renew their expensive subscriptions, turning instead to “open access” publishing, an arrangement whereby material is made available free on the Internet with few or no restrictions except for the obligation to cite it.

Paul Ayris, director of library services at University College London, describes the revolt’s goal as “the dream of every researcher — from the desktop and at the end of an Internet connection, to be able to have the world’s literature at your fingertips.”

For the moment, that dream is still a long way off. But with British universities already spending 65 percent of their library acquisition budgets on periodicals — up from 50 percent 10 years ago — and university funding cut back, the pressure for change is mounting. . . .

No comments: