Monday, September 25, 2006

OA Librarians and Societies: Two Perspectives

T. Scott Plutchak thinks we OA advocates are too hard on societies; you can read his blogpot It Gets Lonely Out Here. My sympathies to T. Scott, who reports to one of the very few provosts who signed the letter opposing FRPAA. This has to be a lonely situation for an OA advocate.

Dorothea Salo on Caveat Lector presents another point of view in her blogpost Unyielding opposition?. As Dorothea points out, it would be a lot easier to be supportive of scholarly societies if they did not themselves exhibit unyielding opposition to open access, FRPAA, NIH, PubChem, etc.

Personally, I am completely against this anti-OA activities on the part of some scholarly societies, but totally for the concept of scholarly societies. I think libraries should work cooperatively with societies to provide support - financial and technical, not just moral - to enable scholarly societies to transition to open access.

Another of Dorothea's points: "I may be alone in this, but I’m also irked by one specific phrase I see in scholarly publishers’ contributions to the open-access debate: “subscription-funded activities.” I’ll make my stance as clear as I know how: libraries are not responsible for supporting society activities unrelated to the scholarly literature".

You're not alone, Dorothea. When we have a scholarly communications system that has been in crisis for decades, it is irreponsible to charge more than necessary to fund other activities.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News for pointing out these two blogposts.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

I must say that T. Scott's "loneliness" isn't because of his interactions with his provost but because of what he sees as the implacable stance of some librarian OA advocates. According to the post, he actually gets along with the provost well and respects the values behind the provost's opposition to FRPAA.