ATG Hot Topics—Terror-ific Open Access Edition!

by | Oct 31, 2014 | 0 comments

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

Happy Halloween everyone!  I hope everyone is ready for some trick-or-treaters tonight, and maybe a spooky occurrence or two.  It’s fun to look at Google’s doodles today.  I’m surprised at the lack of costumed students on campus today, but perhaps I’m just out of touch?  I’m rocking my superhero Librarian costume proudly and absurdly.

Last week, everywhere, was International Open Access Week.  You can find a wealth of information on their site, including a Q&A forum (because we all have a lot of question!), news and featured blog posts, as well as videos, photos, and live streams of events from libraries around the globe.  Open access (OA)  continues to be a scorching hot topic in the library world, as librarians are challenged to both grasp the intricacies of each publisher’s model and then determine how (and if) OA can benefit their users.  As with any other hot topic, there are two sides to this story, and though OA is often touted as a model that supports our efforts to provide wider access to information sources (without paying outlandish subscription prices), it often creates more questions than answers.  Who really pays for OA?  At a fantastic presentation at our Florida ACRL meeting last week, we saw evidence of one Big Deal publisher charging authors over $3,000 to make their work OA.  Innovative?  Yes.  Worth keeping track of?  Yes.  Sustainable?  Well…

And the new OA models keep on coming!  For an interesting take on how the University of California Press is tackling OA publishing, read the interview with Neil Christensen* here.  I’m heartened by their contributor-centric model and their low article processing fees.  If university presses can do it, why can’t the Big Deals?


Drumroll please…a new post at Scholarly Kitchen provides an update on The Size of the Open Access Market.  The OA market always seems to be an unwieldy beast of a thing to try to keep track of, so a “temperature check” is welcome.  I urge you to read Joseph Esposito’s post, well-written as always, on how the OA market is projected to almost double by 2017, and how we can expect more publishers to jump on this big-money bandwagon.  If you want some really involved reading, you can check out the whole OA Journal Publishing 2014-2017 report.  Oh, and apparently Esposito went to Woodstock 1969.  My jealousy is palpable.

I hope to see a lot of new faces and familiar friends in Charleston next week!  Safe and happy travels.


(*For more information about University of California Press’ Neil Christensen check out:  ATG Interviews Neil Blair Christensen and Profiles Encouraged: Neil Blair Christensen)

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