Article

Excerpted from the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #115
November 2, 2007
by Peter Suber

Read this issue online
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/11-02-07.htm

ABSTRACT: An account is given of the difficulties caused to smaller learned publishers and to the academic library system in the move to electronic delivery of results of scientific and medical research.

We are pleased to announce the first results of an ongoing research project.The overall project has two phases. Phase One is to make a comprehensive list of scholarly societies worldwide that support gold OA for their own journals. The journals might be full OA or hybrid OA, and the society's relationship to its journals might be that of owner, publisher, or partner with the publisher. (For convenience, when we say below that a society "publishes" an OA journal, we'll mean that it has at least one of these relationships to it.) The list includes the journals themselves, and associated data, as well as the societies.

I'm trying something new with my predictions this year. Instead of guesswork on a large number of small subtopics, I'm sticking to two large ones: the new Obama administration in the United States and the growing recession worldwide. Then I'll add a few bigger picture items not closely tied to any particular year.

After Hurricane Katrina hit the US gulf coast in August 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bought 11,000 mobile homes for $431 million and shipped them to Arkansas for the evacuees. Six months later the homes were still sitting unused in an Arkansas cow pasture because federal rules --ironically, FEMA rules-- prohibited the use of mobile homes in a flood plain.

Article processing fees or publication charges—charging contributing authors or (more typically) their proxies fees to subsidize processing and publishing costs—are among the most frequently discussed supply-side business model components for open-access journals.

In February, Rep. John Conyers (D­MI) rein­troduced a proposed piece of legislation, H.R. 801, innocuously titled “The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act.” At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss this bill as just another of the myriad copyright and intellectual proper­ty ­related proposals that are routinely made in Congress, without much punch. However, it’s important for the library community to take a very close look at this particular bill.

Some nonprofit publishers enjoy in-kind contributions (whether explicit and implicit) from academic institutions, sponsors, and other organizations. Most in-kind contributions come from the institutions, societies, and other organizations with which a publication or project is affiliated.

From its earliest days, SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has explored strategies to unleash the power of the digital networked environment in order to enhance the process of scholarly communication and address the serious economic problems that plague it. During the past year, we have been following the promise and progress of early-stage institutional repositories—digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community. We believe that institutional repositories are a practical, cost-effective, and strategic means for institutions to build partnerships with their faculty to advance scholarly communication.

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