Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pluralism and uniformity

Walt Crawford, The Dangers of Uniformity, American Libraries, October 2004. Excerpt: "Similarly, single solutions may be tempting answers to problems, but they’re usually dangerous and unrealistic answers. A monolithic solution is likely to cause more problems than it solves --and it's not likely to replace the current situation. The main danger with most monolithic futures and single solutions is that people put too much faith in the power of a single future. When you stop buying print journals because the future is all-digital, the next step may be for your university president to decide that all of the future is digital, so who needs a library? If a library chose to stop acquiring print books because e-books are the future, it would be out of business long before e-books became a significant part of the overall book market (which they probably will, at least within niches). Many of us want to see open access cause serious changes in scientific, technical, and medical article publishing—but insisting on or assuming a future in which all sci-tech publishing is open access is both improbable and problematic....Avoid the dangers of uniformity. Look for multiplicity whenever it’s possible. It works for your collections; it should also work for technological and media futures."