The Ivies (Plus) Have Concerns about the Nelson OSTP Memo - The Scholarly Kitchen
peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-03-16
"As I read this letter, I had a growing sense that the OA movement is starting to paint itself into a corner. For a couple of decades now, advocates have regularly protested that they understand fully that publishing costs money: they (or at least most – maybe not all) recognize that good editors have to be paid, that peer review has to be managed, that the maintenance of a complex website is expensive, that reliable and well-organized archiving is not free, etc. The problem, they have said, is not with publishers getting revenue to support their work, but with publishers getting revenue by charging for access to the scholarly products of research — especially publicly-funded research....
But it seems as though every time a publisher tries to get the necessary money from somewhere other than readers, there’s always a problem, and often one raised by the OA community itself. Toll access is of course completely unacceptable, but APCs (as the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation rightly points out) are just another kind of toll access; the toll gate is simply moved from its former spot between the reader and the content to a new spot between the author and the publishing service. Furthermore, when drawn from research grants, APCs divert money away from the support of new research towards the dissemination of research already performed — a worthy expenditure, perhaps, but one that entails a real and significant opportunity cost. Subscribe-to-Open, the popular model du jour, relies entirely on libraries continuing to pay subscription fees. And of course when an institution such as a scholarly society or a university underwrites a journal entirely, making it free both to read and to publish in, that money is taken away from other worthy organizational priorities as well. So from whom or from what program should the money be taken? ..."