Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 06, 2008

OA for improving reference service

Steve Lawson, Open Access and the reference librarian, See Also..., March 4, 2008.

... The stereotype around librarians and Open Access is that librarians are on board mostly because we think that we’ll end up getting to ax expensive journals and thus solve our “serials crisis.” (Can a “crisis” last twenty years?)

I’m sure a lot of librarians do think that, especially directors and heads of collection development and others who have to write checks to Elsevier and similar corporations. But for the reference librarian, I think the thought process is a little different.

Instead of thinking of the up-front cost of the journal, we reference librarians are thinking more about helping people one-on-one. ...

So it is a big drag if instead of being able to give someone the perfect source, we instead end up with just a citation and not the full text in hand or online. It is no fun at all if instead of a full text PDF we find a web page demanding a credit card number to buy the three-page article for thirty bucks. Where is the satisfaction in telling someone to go to ILL? That is an itch unscratched. ...