2009 Plenary 4

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Plenary 4: Directions for Open Access Publishing

The movement for open access publishing, sparked by libraries’ resistance to skyrocketing prices for scientific journals, is gaining ground rapidly, moving well beyond STM journals and winning adherents among university faculties as well as librarians. Publishers, long resistant to open access, are beginning to experiment with it. The critical question, and the major stumbling block to further expansion of OA publishing is, of course, how to pay for it. If users don’t pay for content, who does? Authors? Universities? Foundations? Advertisers? This session will explore a variety of business models for open access publishing, for both books and journals, from the perspectives of publishers, librarians, and faculty.

Moderator: Lynne Withey, Director, University of California Press

Panelists: Ivy Anderson, Director, Collection Development & Management, California Digital Library; Eelco Ferwerda, Publisher, Digital Products, Amsterdam University Press & Coordinator, Open Access Publishing in European Networks; Michael Jensen, Director of Strategic Web Communications, National Academies Press; Stuart Shieber, Welch Professor of Computer Science & Director, Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University

View Lynne Withey's Open Access Reading List below

View Ivy Anderson's presentation, Angels or Demons: The Case for a Transformative Approach to Open Access

View Stuart Shieber's presentation, Paying for Open Access

View Eelco Ferwerda's presentation, Directions for Open Access Publishing

Watch and read Michael Jensen's presentation, Scholarly Publishing in the New Era of Scarcity



Please feel free to add notes or responses to the session below.

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Open Access Reading List

Lynne Withey


General overviews:

“Open Access Publishing and the Emerging Infrastructure for 21st-Century Scholarship,” by Donald J. Waters; Journal of Electronic Publishing, 11:1 (Winter 2008) [1]

“Open Access Overview,” by Peter Suber [2]

and an update by Suber, “Open Access in 2008,” Journal of Electronic Publishing, 12:1 (February 2009) [3]

Suber writes a monthly newsletter, The SPARC Open Access Newsletter, which is posted on his website [4]


A summary of the varieties of OA and arguments pro and con by a British journalist:

“Open Access: Whom would you back?,” by Richard Poynder, Marcy 10, 2009 [5]


A discussion of the tensions between traditional publishing and OA, including some analysis of the economic issues:

“Open Access 2.0: Access to Scholarly Publications Moves to a New Phase,” by Joseph J. Esposito, Journal of Electronic Publishing, 11:2 (Spring 2008) [6]


On the Harvard OA policy:

“The Case for Open Access,” by Robert Darnton; Harvard Crimson, February 12, 2008 [7]


A vision for OA for books:

“Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press,” by John Willinsky, Journal of Electronic Publishing, 12:1 (February 2009) [8]


On the National Academies Press experience and its implications:

“The Deep Niche,” by Michael Jensen, Journal of Electronic Publishing, 10:2 (Spring 2007) [9]


Thoughts on the limitations of OA for books:

“Open Access, re Journals vs. Books,” by Michael Jensen, Publishing Frontier, February 29, 2008 [10]


On physicists’ proposal to convert their field to OA (SCOAP3):

“Physicists Set Plan in Motion to Change Publishing System,” by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2009 [11]

“The Audacity of SCOAP3,” by Ivy Anderson, ARL: A Bimonthly Report, no. 257 (April 2008) [12]


An economic analysis of OA from the British perspective:

“Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models: Exploring the costs and benefits,” by John Houghton et. al., a report for JISC, January 27, 2009 [13]


And a book (yes, a book) that you will have to buy or borrow from a library if you want to read it:

The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System, by Siva Vaidhyanathan (Basic Books, 2005)

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