Re: [SOAF] Another Winning Article From OA's Chronicler and Conscience: Richard Poynder

From: David Prosser <david.prosser_at_BODLEY.OX.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 09:09:24 -0000

I'm afraid that I still don't understand where this idea comes from
that deposit mandates and open access journal deals are either/or
propositions.  They are not and never will be.


I think some confusion is arising from a misunderstanding of how
decisions are made in universities.  The mechanism for taking out a
membership deal for an open access publisher is a relatively simple
one - a library director can look at his or her budget and make the
decision.  Even these large-scale consortia deals with publishers
such as Springer are relative simple.  Of course they require a great
deal of negotiation and hard work on the part of people such as Ivy
(who deserves much kudos for all her efforts at UC), but as they do
not require large additional funds or significant changes to
researchers' working practices they are manageable decisions.  (And
just to avoid the howls of protest from library friends, `relatively
simple' does not mean `easy'!)


Institution-wide mandates on the other hand are much harder.  They
require lobbying at the highest level of the institution, they
require assuaging the concerns of the entire academic community, they
require briefing papers, presentations at committee meetings, support
from the VC or Rector, discussions at academic board and university
senate level (or their equivalent), votes, etc. etc.  Looking at
those mandates that are already in place it can take at least two
years from the idea of a mandate being mooted to it being agreed. 


And it takes at least two years not because people are wasting their
time talking about OA journals, but because the decision-making
processes in academic institutions are relatively slow and unwieldy. 
Stevan's arguments might have some force if there was evidence that
discussing OA journals slows down that decision-making progress, but
I don't think tha.=UTF-8&
+Blogsroublesome complications, since they concern how the client is
to deal with their competitors, further down the road, when one's own
"Big Deal" is no longer the only deal in town...


 Stevan Harnad



Received on Fri Mar 13 2009 - 17:52:24 GMT

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