100% Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: a critique

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 18:48:45 -0500

I am very pleased to see Stevan's long-awaited agreement about 100%.
The next question, asked by the Ware survey but not Beckett & Inger, is
what will happen at 95% and at 90%, which are levels which is practice
can be reached by mandatory self-archiving, as CERN has demonstrated.

It seems Stevan would make a rather conservative librarian, for about
half of libraries would cancel earlier than 100%.
Ware found (question 15) that 52 percent of libraries would cancel by somewhere
between 90 and 99%.

But that too is not the exact situation that will be posed in real life,
which is: if at 90% OA, libraries see half of their similar libraries cancelling,
would they cancel as well? And, since libraries do not make the decision
how much money they can spend, if libary funders --institutions, boards--
legislatures--see half of comparable libraries canceling, would they continue to
allot money for the subscriptions that some libraries might nonetheless want
to continue? (This has been sometimes referred to as the tipping-point problem.)

Of course, we are far from this situation, but I pity the publisher who does not
start realistic planning for it now. Stevan, and I, don't need to, and neither
perhaps do libraries--we can await the event. Publishers can't.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.
Bibliographer and Research Librarian
Princeton University Library


----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Monday, November 20, 2006 10:22 pm
Subject: Re: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: a critique
To: AmSci Forum <american-scientist-open-access-forum_at_amsci.org>

> For those (like me) who happen to think that 100% OA
> self-archiving is likely eventually to cause cancellations,
> downsizing, and a transition to the OA cost-recovery, but that
> there is as yet no evidence of this, and that it is a matter of
> complete uncertainty how fast the self-archiving will grow, how
> soon the cancellation pressure will be felt, and how strong the
> cancellation pressure will be -- this study did not provide any
> new information.
> For those empiricists (for whom I have some sympathy too), who
> simply say there is no evidence at all yet that self-archiving
> causes cancellations -- and that even in the few fields where
> self-archiving has been at or near 100% for some years there is
> still no such evidence -- it is likewise true that this study has
> not provided any new evidence: neither about *whether* there will
> be cancellations, nor, if so, about when and how much.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Nov 22 2006 - 00:52:51 GMT

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