Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, February 18, 2008

Interview with Christina Pikas

Bora Zivkovic, Librarians have been doing it for a hundred years! Interview with Christina Pikas, A Blog Around the Clock, February 17, 2008.  Excerpt:

...The thing with archiving on your web page is that it isn't really that findable and there's no plan for long term preservation and migration to new formats. IRs are much better at preservation, but the findability just isn't there, which is very sad. (OAI-PMH, Google, and sciencecommons all help but you still need controlled vocabulary, etc.)

I also like that money from grants, etc., be set aside for open access through journals. I trust journals to provide good access, good findability, and good preservation. We know the content will be indexed in powerful databases....

I'm really interested in what's happening right now in high energy physics. Essentially, the idea is to redirect library money that now goes for specific journals to pay for all articles in HEP to be open access. From what I've heard from my colleagues, they are very concerned that if all of the articles will be free, then their budget will not go to this pool, but to say, more chemistry journals. The other thing is that wealthy institutions will be subsidizing mid-range institutions and public schools. Maybe they should do this, but it shouldn't be by accident. If library money is diverted to pay for open access, then we could be in trouble, because we would run up much higher bills than we currently pay for journals, and this still wouldn't pay for research databases and the like which are also immensely expensive.

Comments.  Just two quick ones:

  • OAI-based searches are limited to metadata and benefit from a controlled vocabulary (and consistent entry of metadata in the first place).  But Google and other mainstream search engines are gradually indexing OA repositories as well, and they support full-text searching without a controlled vocabulary.  Repository managers could facilitate this process by configuring their systems to help rather than hinder the crawlers.
  • When libraries find themselves with savings from the cancellation, conversion, or demise of TA journals, they should spend it first to support the peer-reviewed OA journals arising to fill the same niches and to replenish the book budgets suppressed by spending on TA journals.  However, this is quite different from canceling TA journals in order to free up money for OA journals.