Why is Sharing So Much Harder than Selling? | Inside Higher Ed
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"Joshua Kim raised an interesting question on Tuesday. In just an hour, he was able to get a whole bunch of books and chose among formats for preference and price. The fact that Amazon makes it insanely easy to buy books – but makes it difficult or impossible to share them (thanks in large part to publishers) leads him wonder about the dominance of Amazon and the impact on libraries....[For my project, using journal articles] I would have had to spent a lot more than Joshua did; single articles cost four or five times what he spent on each book because the economics of scholarly publishing are so borked. Besides, what I really want to do is share these things, not buy them just for myself. If I buy them, I can't share them....This bugs me for two reasons. One is that librarians didn’t invent Amazon before Amazon did....The other reason it frustrates me is that these texts were mostly written to be shared, not sold....I’m frustrated that libraries and the scholars they serve haven’t figured out a more effective and efficient way to share our research that actually fits what we do when we do research. I’m dismayed that, thanks to inattention, we have let the fruits of our research be treated like rare and overpriced consumer goods. Surely we can do better...."