„In the battle between faculty and library, publishers are arms dealers, not combatants“

Joseph J. Esposito: „The devil you don’t know: The unexpected future of Open Access publishing“ In: First Monday, volume 9, number 8 (August 2004) weist auf einige interessante Auswirkungen der Open Access-Welt hin:

  • OA will reduce costs to zero or some modest mark–up above zero, freeing library resources for other things, assuming universities will still find a reason to fund libraries in a world where […] „information wants to be free.“
  • Librarians are likely to continue to pay for user–pays journals that their constituencies (faculty and students) want, and authors are likely to continue to submit papers to user–pays journals if such journals will advance them professionally. Indeed, it is hard to see why an up–and–coming researcher would take the risk of publishing in an author–pays OA publication when a user–pays publication gets him or her so much more, and at less personal expense.
  • In a user–pays world, anything that could drive the cost down would be welcome. But the peculiar thing about academic research publishing is that these are mostly institutional, not personal, purchases. Librarians spend money on behalf of their constituents, students and faculty. If Professor Jones of the department of history does not assert himself to the purchasing librarians, the library’s budget may be allocated to another department. So Jones has an incentive to fight for higher history expenditures. Seeing this, Jones’s counterpart in the philosophy department fights the same fight for his or her discipline. Neither member of the faculty has an incentive to have the library spend less; it is, in the end, other people’s money.
  • There is indeed a war in academia about the great and rising cost of journals, but it is a battle between the faculty and the library. In this scenario, publishers are arms dealers, not combatants.
  • OA, through the range of new services it will provide, will increase the overall cost of scholarly communications.
  • It is proprietary user–pays publishing that is keeping down the costs of scholarly communications by keeping those costs within the confines of a strained library’s budget […]

Nachschlag: Walt Crawford zerreißt Espositio in der Luft (Cites & Insights Sept. 2004, S.13)