Re: Budapest Open Access Initiative

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 21:37:26 +0000

On Mon, 18 Feb 2002 [identity removed] wrote:

> Last round:
> I think the disparity between our points of view may be embodied in the
> differences between the ways that universities and libraries work in the US
> vs Europe (and most of the rest of the world).
> In most of the world, universities are government institutions, whose funds
> are supplied by the government, and hence they have a "socialist" set of
> imperatives that make your point of view reasonable (i.e., the greatest good
> for the greatest number). In the US, a few universities run this way (state
> schools), but they are a minority, and most of them (with a few notable
> exceptions) are not very good and hence do not draw in a lot of research
> funds. The high-powered research institutions in the US are mainly private,
> which means that they have a very different set of imperatives (they are
> driven by institutional financial survival in a way that state-run schools
> do not experience).
> I have spent all of my career at private universities in the US, and from
> that perspective, your plan does not make a lot of sense. They are not paid
> to do research (in fact, they lose money on it; they support it because it
> draws in high quality faculty and donors that allow them to make back their
> investment on tuition and donations), and it would never cross their minds
> to pay for faculty to publish, even though in your example it seems to be
> less expensive than maintaining a library. The reason US universities do
> not flock to your plan is that once they lose exclusivity of their library
> collections, they lose a major part of their academic exclusivity, which is
> how they derive their income.
> Because the US is the largest block of scholars and institutions, and most
> of the money in the US is in this non-socialist group of institutions, I
> think you will have a hard time selling your proposition.

Dear [Identity Removed]:

I don't want to prolong the last round! I note only that nothing
I said had anything whatsoever to do with socialism, only with
maximizing research impact, research access, research revenue, research
productivity and library serials savings (i.e., researcher and
research-institution self-interest).



PS Is publication and impact no longer pertinent to promotion and
tenure at [---- University]?
Received on Mon Feb 18 2002 - 21:38:19 GMT

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