[T]he costs and benefits of open access apply to us librarians too. We certainly have overpriced journals and trade publications. We certainly have journals that sold out and saw their prices soar. We certainly have journals and trade publications that ask us to sign ridiculous copyright-transfer agreements....
[T]hereís more value for us, in the long run [in providing OA to library literature] --itís called ďeating our own dog food.Ē We canít reasonably go out and evangelize self-archiving to faculty when we arenít doing it ourselves. We canít evangelize open-access journals when we donít publish in them....
I mean, our very own guidebooks militate against open access! I was reading the publication chapter in The Successful Academic Librarian last week (ambitious, thatís me) when I ran smack into (paraphrased) ďThere are open-access journals, but they arenít well-known, so most librarians consider them dubious publication outlets at best.Ē Oh, great; thanks ever so, O Molder of the Mind of the Young. That isnít even true, for $DEITYís sake! Find me a techie librarian who doesnít know about D-Lib and Ariadne. One.
So what is a librarian who publishes in the library literature to do? At a minimum, I suggest the following:
Read all copyright transfer agreements. Itís flat-out irresponsible not to. If you donít like what youíre reading, ask if thatís the only agreement available, and be prepared to detail your concerns.
For those agreements that do not appear to allow self-archiving or do not address self-archiving, ask the editor ďMay I self-archive this paper?Ē Editors and publishers need to hear that their authors want to do this; we mustnít let publishers hide behind ďbut our authors donít care!Ē Just asking the question is not going to kill your acceptance chances (especially if you ask this after your paper is accepted!).
Whenever possible, submit your work to an existing open-access journal. Gold-OA has a chicken-and-egg problem; authors wonít submit to OA journals unless other authors do, and Molders of the Minds of the Young wonít give credence to OA journals until they know people (good people!) who publish in them. We donít necessarily need to start more OA library journals. We need to utilize the ones we do have fully. (That saidÖ watch this space.)
Know OA resources in our field. Use them, and point other librarians to them. Iím at DLIST all the time these days.
Want to go a little further? There are ways.... [PS: Here cutting six good suggestions; see the whole post.]
Peter Suber at 10/18/2006 09:44:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.