Re: Ann Okerson on institutional archives

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 04:09:49 +0000 (GMT)

On Sat, 26 Mar 2005, Subbiah Arunachalam wrote:

> Friends:
> "Ann Okerson weighs the pros and cons of OA for US research libraries,
> noting that institutional repositories are likely to be expensive, and
> their focus in the U.S. is likely to be on locally produced scholarly
> materials other than articles. Consequently: "It is unlikely that
> under this kind of scenario in the US, scattered local versions of STM
> articles would compete effectively with the completeness or the value
> that the publishing community adds." She also suggests that library
> cost savings resulting from OA journals are "unlikely, unless
> substantial production cost reductions can be realised by many
> categories of publisher." - in Serials: The Journal for the Serials Community 18(1)(2005).
> Why does Ann Okerson, a respected and knowledgeable US academic
> librarian, think that institutional repositories will be expensive? What
> are the facts? Will leading institutions that have set up institutional
> archives tell her and others how much does it cost to set up archives
> and run them.
> Arun

The facts are all contrary to what Ann Okerson states. Not only are
institutional archives not *likely* to be expensive, those that actually
exist are de facto not expensive at all (a $2000 linux server,
a few days sysad set-up time, and a few days a year maintenance). Their
focus in the US and elsewhere is likely to be exactly on what university
policy decides it should be (and the Berlin 3 recommendation, likely
to be widely adopted now, is that the focus should be on university article
output). And the purpose of self-archiving is not and never has been
to "compete effectively with the completeness or the value that the
publishing community adds." It is to provide access to those would-be
users whose institutions cannot afford the journal's official version.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Mar 26 2005 - 04:09:49 GMT

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