Reclaiming What We Own: Expanding Competition in Scholarly Publishing | 1999 | Michael L Rosenzweig Editor, Evolutionary Ecology Research | ACRL conference
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"Reclaiming What We Own: Expanding Competition in Scholarly Publishing
Plenary address to the Ninth Conference of the Association of College & Research Libraries; Detroit, Michigan, 11 April, 1999
Michael L Rosenzweig Editor, Evolutionary Ecology Research and Professor, Evolutionary and Ecology Biology University of Arizona It is really happening now, and without you it would be a flop! On behalf of Evolutionary Ecology Research, I thank you all for your support. A wag told me I ought to come in costume dressed as Moses -- because I was leading the Children of the Libraries out of the publishing houses of bondage. Besides, I already have the beard and the background. I even have the staff. But I decided the image was overkill, and maybe a bit too lighthearted. After all, this is serious business. Several commercial publishers have so emphasized the maximization of profit that they have restricted the flow of knowledge. In so doing, they have exiled themselves from the academic enterprise. If they actually produced that knowledge, maybe we could forgive them. But library clients actually produce it, and taxpayers pay for almost all of it. Placing blame won't help. We are here both to take back the hijacked cargo and to protect it from from future raids. To that end, I want to contribute the story of Evolutionary Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology Research. I believe that our story has two kinds of value. It illustrates much of the problem and it can illuminate a great deal of what needs to be done to solve it for good. In late 1984, I began working with a fine English commercial publisher to create a new biology journal. Chapman & Hall was Charles Dickens publisher, and Anthony Trollope's too. It had 150 yrs of proud accomplishments to its credit. And it was acutely aware of its dual role as profitmaker and disseminator of knowledge and of culture. I never signed an agreement with Chapman & Hall ó our relationship was based entirely on old fashioned trust. Evolutionary Ecology started as a Smythe-sewn quarterly of three signatures each issue. Libraries paid $100/yr and individuals, $35...."