Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Publishing Cooperatives: An Alternative for Non-Profit Publishers

Many professional societies feel caught in a bind about open access publishing. They support the goal of freely available research, but depend on revenues from traditional subscriptions to sustain themselves.

Raym Crow, a senior consultant for SPARC, has just published an important paper about how to resolve this dilemma. He proposes that societies form publishing cooperatives rather than attempting to move completely to an open access model by themselves.

Crow builds on the work of others who have wrestled with this challenge, such as John Willinsky. He offers new hope that societies can meet their "twin imperatives of financial sustainability and mission fulfillment." That mission is to share their knowledge with the world.

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