Monday, November 17, 2008

Charleston Conference: Open Access

OA Exposed!
Arend Kuester (PCG Europe), Ralf Schimmer (Max Planck Digital Library; submitted comments, unable to attend), Richard Luce (Emory University), Wim van der Stelt (Springer), David Hoole (NPG), gentleman from UC Berkeley (unfortunately didn't catch his name, late addition to panel so not in program)
Friday, November 7, 2008 - Plenary Session, 5:30-6:15pm

Ralf Schimmer (shared by Arend Kuester):
  • OA can't rely on IRs alone
  • requires comprehensive approach between researchers & communities, institutions, libraries
  • libraries no longer an end to themselves, but also no longer alone
  • OA debate will not be over money but ownership

David Hoole:

  • for publishers, OA question still much about business models
  • green OA has been around a long time when you consider author archiving/posting on website
  • most commercial publishers offer a hybrid model
  • ultimately comes down to what authors decide to do since we've got lots of options (green, gold, hybrid)
  • can we get benefits of text mining without self-archiving? depends on format of OA version
  • NPG thinks gold OA incompatible with top journals that have high rejection rates

Richard Luce:

  • OA question of requirements in place, or that need to be in place, for escience and eresearch
  • SCOAP3: fund via fair share model; came out of CERN
  • only works if every country on-board; US share approx. 24%; in US, can't make national pledge to SCOAP3
  • once critical mass of pledges reached, journals in HEP (high energy physics) would be unbundled and subscriptions lowered
  • approx. 53% of funds have been pledged; in US, little over 50% pledged but need more
  • great opportunity to equalize playing field and experiment, even if physics isn't a big part of the universities' focus

Wim van der Stelt:

  • Springer is taking a very serious stand on OA, as it doesn't think it is going away, at least for some fields
  • lots of reasons authors don't opt for hybrid (too burdensome)
  • libraries and publishers should work together to help authors understand and achieve
  • not necessarily in favor [of OA] but wants to see if there is a role to be played
  • exploring OA for faculty as part of library subscription costs; working with libraries in Europe, soon the US
  • acquisition of BMC doesn't mean anything other than Springer bought another company that it believes is a viable business; also gives Springer a stronger position in the life sciences

Berkeley representative:

  • provides public access on site to Berkeley research
  • promotion of Berkeley research big initiative of Office of Research
  • Office of Research and library created the OA fund: Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII)
  • BRII also established to get sense among faculty of how much they are taking advantage of OA options
  • recent Ithaka report identified the top two issues of importance for faculty when publishing: 1) widely read, and 2) no cost to faculty; openness was at the bottom of scale of importance
  • BRII will fund up to $3000 for gold OA, up to $1500 for green OA
  • library's role must be highlighted


  • Q: are we really able to control authors?
  • A: don't really want to; as authors' methods change our question should be how do our methods change to support them
  • Q: assuming all literature will eventually be freely available, and money will be made by additional services provided on top of access, who will do this: libraries, publishers, Google?
  • A: is this possible? where will money to come from to cover costs come of making articles available, even as additional top-level services are offered?
  • Q: why should libraries/librarians administer campus OA funds? what skills do they have? why not another department?
  • A: libraries/librarians have no vested interest in any subject/domain; doesn't scrutinize publication for quality just qualification of publishing place; no unique skills are claimed - may not be part of future fund administration; if Nature or Science were to go OA and charge $30,000/article then funds would become politicized; librarians teach author rights and understand economic landscape of scholarship costs so knowledge is there to be tapped into with funds and OA publishing support; departmental involvement might lead to conflicts of interest with fund distribution

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