Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More on rising journal prices and flat library budgets

Chris Manzano, Journal subscriptions remain high despite shift to electronic format, Daily Nebraskan, October 19, 2007.  Excerpt:

...Judy Johnson, UNL [University of Nebraska - Lincoln] libraries coordinator of acquisitions and electronic licensing, said library employees face many challenges when acquiring E-journals because a lot of time is spent negotiating licenses for databases when contract periods are up.

"The process is very labor intensive as the licenses' are usually reworked several times between the publisher and the institution," Johnson said.

The National Information Standards Organization sought to solve this problem with its creation of The Shared E-Resource Understanding, which began its trial period June 20 and seeks to standardize the licensing process between libraries and journal publishers. The program could go a long way towards streamlining the acquisitions process, Johnson said.

The university has also experimented with open access publishing options such as BioMed [Central] and The Digital Commons....

The BioMed [Central] publication, sponsored by the college of biological sciences, is an open source journal partly funded by the university. Alan Kamil, chairman of the biological sciences department, said the university will sometimes help junior faculty members to publish their work. The publishing process can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 per article, and even with membership discounts sold by the publishing companies to the UNL, the cost of open access publishing remains high.

The price of scholarly journals rises by an average of 7 to 9 percent per year, and the state-aided materials budget for library materials has not increased during the past six or seven years, Busch said.

This makes it difficult for the library to fund open access projects and move away from the subscription business model....