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The Information Implosion? Scholarly Communication at the Crossroads Susan K. Martin, Ph.D. Visiting Program Officer for Scholarly Communication Association.

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Presentation on theme: "The Information Implosion? Scholarly Communication at the Crossroads Susan K. Martin, Ph.D. Visiting Program Officer for Scholarly Communication Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Information Implosion? Scholarly Communication at the Crossroads Susan K. Martin, Ph.D. Visiting Program Officer for Scholarly Communication Association of College and Research Libraries March 20-21, 2003

2 New challenge: information restriction, restraint, and exclusion Old challenge: information explosion

3 The ‘library’ issue Journals – too expensive Copyright – too long Fair use – too restricted Electronic journals – FAR more expensive because of the ‘Big Deal’ New government information policies – too supportive of industry at the expense of the consumer Private industry – too ready to implement consumer restrictions

4 Is it really just a ‘library’ problem? We think not. Your faculty are already feeling the effects of these and other issues, and you will feel them as well

5 We have some pictures…

6 Journals are too expensive


8 Prices of commercially published scholarly journals far outpace normal inflationary rates Why? Are some publishers greedy? –Perhaps so Universities and their faculties have traditionally demanded access to these tools Faculty don’t pay for them, and librarians have until recently been superb at hiding the truth of these costs

9 Here is just one example…. Courtesy of Cornell University Library

10 Sticker Price: $12,495.00 Cover image of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science appears with permission of the publisher.

11 The Big Deal is not necessarily a good deal


13 In 1999, the Big Deal seemed too good to be true: All a publisher’s journals for the same price you were previously paying for a subset Incremental costs for the duration of the contract, known in advance Little or no surcharge for the online version Minor penalties for cancelling print subscriptions

14 The economics have changed With the world around us changing, librarians must find ways to cut budgets Big Deals, often subsidized by special funds at the outset, can be afforded by few Usually consortia make the Big Deals –OhioLink’s 3-year contract with Elsevier costs $21 million

15 The big publishers offered monolithic packages: You (the library or consortium) get all of our (the publisher's) articles in electronic form—but only if you pay us every penny you're paying now for print subscriptions, plus more, plus a guaranteed annual increment. discontent5_02.html While the [original] Elsevier contract was under consideration, no faculty dissent was heard. One would have thought that Elsevier was the premier publisher of premier journals. Now, as the initial three-year contract is concluding, a substantial faculty are emphasizing that Elsevier journals are the least useful in their fields.--Kent Mulliner, Ohio University, August 19, 1999 /9908/msg00023.html

16 The terms of copyright were recently extended…

17 Unless this legislation is determined by the courts to be unconstitutional… the American public will pay a heavy price in continued royalties on old works. Moreover, the public will enjoy fewer new works because current creative authors will be denied vital pieces of our cultural heritage for use as building blocks in making new creations. For the first time in over 200 years of copyright history in the United States, this legislation means that NO WORKS WILL ENTER THE PUBLIC DOMAIN FOR A FULL 20 YEARS! [1][1] [1] OpposingCopyrightExtension/what.html

18 Copyright Balance needs to be restored Copyright extension restricts scholarly access and knowledge creation

19 Fair use, so critical to the daily needs of faculty and students alike, is being severely challenged on all sides – licensing issues, P2P downloading, and the ability of the content industry to win the hearts of our elected representatives

20 What stands in the way of fair use? Court rulings Copyright revision Licensing agreements UCITA and shrinkwrap licenses Digital Millennium Copyright Act Fear of being sued

21 Fair Use Industry favors draconian steps –Licensing impinges on fair use ALA Washington Office and higher ed pushing for fair use –DMCRA –TEACH Act

22 The Big Chill Public legislation Private initiatives “Bad things are happening. Real bad.” “Worse to come. Much worse.”

23 Public policies that affect academic information Patriot Act & Son of Patriot Act Copyright “Disappeared” government information UCITA Digital Millennium Copyright Act

24 Patriot Act & Son of Patriot Act Less government accountability with Homeland Security But more freedom to gather information “Under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m requesting that you disclose what you have on me in your files.”

25 “Disappeared” Government Information Taxpayers paying for information they no longer have access to Examples: –PubScience –Eric –Water resources “Notice anything different?”

26 UCITA Uninformed consent (shrink wrap licenses) UCITA down but not defeated Database licenses can restrict how information is used “I have no idea who he is. He came bundled with the software.”

27 Private interests Acquisitions and mergers of scholarly publishing Microsoft’s Palladium – VERY frightening Recording Industry Association of America – battle to squelch peer-to-peer dissemination Software and Information Industry Association


29 Private sector Software Entertainment Publishing Monopolies and antitrust “This ‘digital revolution’---can we muscle in on that?”

30 Slippery Slope: We’ve Got to Get a Grip Pay-per-drink mentality –Pay to view –Pay to print –Pay to download –Restrictions on resource sharing

31 There IS an information explosion Much more on the Internet –But what is it? –What is its quality? –Has it been reviewed?

32 And there ARE efforts taking place to counter the effects recounted earlier

33 Open access journals Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Public Library of Science E-print servers Institutional repositories Creative Commons

34 These efforts are gaining ground. They need the support of university administrators – particularly those responsible for academic affairs.

35 SPARC More than two dozen new journals created as competitors to commercial publishing Universities are not paying vast sums to regain the knowledge that was created on their campuses initially Faculty need to understand the impact of this program

36 Open access journals Peer-reviewed, high quality journals Supported by institutions paying nominal sums for page charges Contents are freely available to the world at large Copyright is dependent on the author, not the publisher Competitive with commercial journals

37 Institutional repositories Mechanism by which all scholarly output from a given institution is made available and preserved Enables the university to better grasp the research and publishing carried out by its faculty Example: MIT’s d-Space; costs $285,000 annually for the entire institution

38 Our New Mandate: Collaborate and Communicate

39 What You Can Do Educate campus community Encourage conversations among all stakeholders Support open access for faculty publishing Help legislators to understand the needs of the higher education Use resources (ALA Washington Office) Embrace new models of scholarly communication Become a player: articulate value of higher education Keep focus on the needs of all members of the campus community

40 Copyright is at a critical juncture, and universities have an extraordinary opportunity to influence the development of the law and related practices as they affect higher education. If universities fail to provide initiative on copyright issues, other parties will exert their influence to shape the law for purposes which do not necessarily advance teaching, learning, and scholarship Consortium for Educational Technology in University Systems

41 Questions?

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