Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 31, 2007

From an editor of an OA journal

Jennifer Richard, Welcome Back, Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 2, 1 (2007).  An editorial.  (Thanks to Barbara Kelly.)  Excerpt:

...As I prepare for a session entitled “Librarianship and the Open Access Journal” at CLA/APLA/NLLA National Conference in Newfoundland, I have had the opportunity to think about the impact of open access for the library community, particularly associations.  I am also a member of the Canadian Library Association Task Force on Open Access, so that also has me thinking about this topic a lot.  I personally, have always thought open access was pretty much a no-brainer and there really isn’t a lot to discuss, the benefits are so obvious.  But I have heard some arguments that worry me and I would like to just quickly give the open access side of the argument here – based solely on my experience with this journal. 

  1. Peer review will not be as rigorous. 

I believe this could not be further from the truth.  I have been so impressed with the conscientious efforts of colleagues who have reviewed articles in this journal.  They are tough!  Both the reviewers and section editors have taken their responsibilities very seriously and I believe it is apparent when you read the quality articles published.  Articles often go through a couple of rounds of review by several colleagues before they are published with very few, if any, articles making it through on the first go around....

  1. What about keeping association publications as member benefits?

From a personal point of view, I really don’t understand the argument.  I don’t belong to an association because I get a magazine; it doesn’t make sense to me.  I can read the magazine in the library; after all I am a librarian.  But I do very much believe that these open access publications are a member benefit – because of the Provincial, Regional and Territorial Library Associations of Canada, you are provided with this high quality journal, so what if everyone else gets to read it at the same time – that part of what we believe so strongly in – access to all.  You get to participate in the activity generated by this type of publication, opportunities to publish, review, edit and soon assist writers.  It’s fun and it looks great on a resume.  I strongly encourage you to support associations that support open access.

  1. It will jeopardize our ad revenue.

It hasn’t jeopardized Google’s ad revenue.  Instead of 300 association members, your publication is now available for the whole world to see; wouldn’t advertisers and vendors be happier about this?  We have yet to have these conversations with vendors, but I think we need to move on that soon.  During the next trade show you attend, ask a vendor how they feel about reaching more people online within this new publishing structure....