Thursday, April 26, 2012

Harvard University Library and Administrative Stupidity

The Guardian -- Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls. A memo from Harvard Library to 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library $3.75m a year.

So, Harvard University, with total revenues of over $3 billion, cannot afford 3.75 million, or just over one tenth of one percent of the universities overall budget, for journal subscriptions.


What a miserable bunch of pikers.

The reason scholars at top universities publish in top (subscription based) journals is that everyone in a particular field reads the top (subscription based) journals in that field.

"Freely available" open access journals are not free. There is a publication charge paid by the author.

So what Harvard University Library wants is for its top researchers to publish in second tier open access journals at their own expense so that librarians have more cash to spend on whatever it is that librarians, not scholars, want.

Thanks to Professor Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem blog for the reference to the Guardian report.

1 comment:

  1. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing.