School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Library Journal

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Open access publishing is a hot topic today. But open access publishing can have many different definitions, and pros and cons vary with the definitions. Open access publishing is especially attractive to companies and small colleges or universities that are likely to have many more readers than authors. A downside is that a membership fee sounds suspiciously like a subscription fee. Some big universities worry that their fees are an unfair burden, forcing them to pay for open access by others. Some are concerned that author fees will come out of the library budget. Scientists in developing countries worry that without subsidies they will be less able to publish and the topics of interest in their nations will be less likely to be represented. Research and scholarly publishing have costs (although estimates of the exact per article costs vary widely), whether volunteers, institutions, authors, or libraries pay. No one answer is a panacea, capable of solving library budget woes, access to high-quality literature, and collection development issues. This article discusses the various pros and cons for different stakeholders in the development of open access publishing.


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