Open Access & Copyright: Savings and Conveniences

From: Heather Morrison <heatherm_at_ELN.BC.CA>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:04:31 -0700

Universities will experience some cost savings and conveniences arising
from the more open copyright associated with OA. This is somewhat
tangential to the more compelling reasons for switching to OA, of
course, (the most essential of which is the need for OA to facilitate
the advancement of scientific knowledge), but nonetheless might be of

Over the past few years, in Canada at least, universities have had to
assign or hire staff to focus on copyright issues. While OA will not
immediately eliminate the need for this focus, a broad-based change to
OA will reverse the trend from increasing need for this kind of
support, to decreasing need. This will result in gradual cost savings
of two types: staffing, and fees for copying material.

University faculty and administration will also benefit from increased
convenience. For example, it will be easier to compile coursepacks,
copy items for classroom use (this might not be an issue in the U.S),
and place materials on reserve, as there will be fewer items for which
copyright checking will be necessary.

This could be yet another factor which will result in a tendency to
favor OA articles. If a faculty member is contemplating including an
article in a coursepack or reserve collection, handing it out in class,
and the article is highly desirable for students to read rather than
essential, the article will be more likely to be included if it is OA.
  This would also be true for handing out articles at meetings,
conference presentations, etc.: all else being equal, the OA article
has the advantage.


Heather G. Morrison
Project Coordinator
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7001
Fax: 604-291-3023
Received on Fri Jul 16 2004 - 18:04:31 BST

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