The "Pay-Twice" Misunderstanding, Again

Amsciforum 2012-07-31


David Wiley's version of the double-payment objection is only partly correct. To the extent that both research funding and research library funding are paid by the tax-payer, there is indeed some double-paying — but the one who gets the free ride is the publisher, who gets to charge for access to material most of which was funded by the tax-payer. The double-pay objection is incorrect, however, when it is made from the standpoint of the subscriber institution. (Private universities’ journal budgets are not paid by tax-payers; and even public universities cover it partly out of student fees or other sources.) The institutional librarians who say “Our institution takes the trouble and expense to provide the research, gives it to publishers for free, only to have to buy it back for subscrption fees” are mistaken: An institution already has its own research output: It’s buying in the research output of other institutions with its journal subscriptions. (So unless one thinks the same argument ought to be applied to books, there’s no valid double-pay objection here.)



10/18/2010, 05:30

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Date tagged:

07/31/2012, 18:57

Date published:

04/15/2010, 08:43