Re: May 12 CERN meeting on implementing the Berlin Declaration

From: Iva Melinscak Zlodi <>
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 22:39:23 +0100

Dear Steven Harnad,

I have always found your opinions regarding open access extremely
logical and wise, and much of my own reasoning was greatly influenced
by your writings.

But things I have read in the American Scientist Open Access Forum
these days forced me to leave my position of silent witness.

On 25 May 2004 at 22:34, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> I think the pattern emerging is clear: The library community, pressed
> by its journal budget crisis, is far less interested in Open Access
> than in re-forming the journal publishing system. The research
> community, in contrast is (or would be if it were informed about the
> facts of access and impact, as it will be) far more interested in
> immediate Open Access than in re-forming the journal publishing
> system.

I am a librarian. And I think that dividing them (researchers) from us
(librarians) can be nothing but counterproductive.

The budget crisis is not something that strikes only librarians, it is
primarily striking researchers (although they are often not aware
of that fact), because they are in need of literature. Personally,
I couldn't care less, if my library could subscribe to as many journals
this year as it could five years ago - I don't read them myself! But
I know my users need their journals. So, "its journal budget crisis"
is definitely the wrong formulation.

Besides, I'm not so sure that the following statement stands: Librarians
want publishing reform, researchers want immediate OA.

Based on what I have seen around (although my impression can be wrong, as
well), it is usually librarians setting up institutional repositories,
promoting them and helping their users to self-archive. And it is
usually researchers, who are being persuaded that it is in their best
interest to self-archive (and often without much success). And also,
it is researchers often waiting for OA journals to emerge and to gain
prestige (and high impact factors), so they can publish there (but they
are not self-archiving in the meantime).

Anyway, I hope you will revise some of your statements, because if
someone tells us (librarians) that we have our own separate interests,
apart from researchers' interest, then it is the same as telling us we
are not doing our job well. And we are not happy about that :-)

Best regards,

Iva Melinscak Zlodi
Rudjer Boskovic Institute Library, Croatia
Received on Thu May 27 2004 - 22:39:23 BST

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