News – The National Library of the Netherlands joins OLH LPS model

“We are delighted to announce that the National Library of the Netherlands has joined the Open Library of Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system. The National Library of the Netherlands (Dutch: KB) is based in The Hague and was founded in 1798. The institution became independent of the state in 1996, although it is financed by the Department of Education, Culture and Science. The mission of the National Library of the Netherlands is to promote the visibility, usability and longevity of the Dutch Library Collection, defined as the collective holdings of all publicly funded libraries in the Netherlands. Unhindered access to these collections furthers the development of new ideas and allows researchers to build upon the ideas of their predecessors. The library houses two collections: the deposit collection and the scholarly collection. The deposit collection contains nearly all material published in the Netherlands. The scholarly collection of the National Library focuses traditionally on the humanities and more recently also on the social sciences.

The National Library has been supporting open access for some years now. It has recently published a “how to find open access publications guidance” and it participates in the National Platform Open Science….”

Survey of Academic Library Leadership: Level of Support for Open Access Initiatives

“This 61-page report [$114 for one PDF copy] looks closely at academic library activity to support open access.  The study gives highly precise data on librarian perceptions of faculty support for open access, and for library activities in peer review, open access publishing and other ventures and activity to support open access, including the payment of author fees and development of institutional digital repositories.  The study helps its readers to answer questions such as:  What percentage of libraries are active in helping to develop peer review networks?  How much do libraries spend on author fees?  How many themselves publish open access journals? What percentage of faculty routinely deposit their scholarly articles in the institutional digital repository? How effective have librarians been in promoting the repository to faculty? How do librarians evaluate the current effectiveness of future probably impact of open access?  How do librarians view the level of support that they are getting from university management on open access issues? How many staff positions are largely devoted to various specified open access activities?

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

Public colleges were significantly more likely than private ones to report support from university or college administration for open access initiatives.
25% of respondents from research universities reported more than just modest progress over the past two years in convincing faculty to deposit their research articles into institutional digital repositories.
13.64% of the MA/PHD level colleges and universities in the sample published their own open access journals.
Nearly 24% of respondents from institutions with enrolment of greater than 10,000 FTE were active in developing peer review networks for open access publications.
Data in the report is broken out by size and type of institution, by tuition level, for public and private institutions and by other useful variables. 

Data in the report is broken out by size and type of institution, by tuition level, for public and private institutions and by other useful variables.”

On Plan S/transformative publishing, or … A disptach in the wake of the Charleston Conference

“–Depending on how much APC funding eventually shifts from libraries to the federal government, will the price mechanism for APCs adjust to accommodate the readiness of grant funding agencies to bankroll APCs?  If so, can we assume the government will have a more price-elastic posture than universities historically have had, given the latter’s tenure and promotion demand-side incentives to publish in high tier journals regardless the cost? If federal agencies are not elastically responsive to prices (i.e., if they reward publication in high priced journals without regard to prices), don’t we just perpetuate the high pricing that librarians have so long lamented, therefore shifting this malaise’s remedy to the public’s dime? Is this fair to the citizenry? How does this affect public funding for other federally funded initiatives?

–Concerns about “existential threats” now appears in discussions about scholarly publishing. Scholarly societies have them. Can societies be assured of stable revenue streams, erstwhile from library journal subscriptions, if some complex admixture of federal government grant funds and university funds fund APCs?

–There seems to be no discussion among librarians about an “existential threat” to their own profession. If funding of journals shifts from universities to federal funding agencies, doesn’t this cut out librarian involvement in selecting and funding journals? Correlatively, wouldn’t this reduce their budgets? Also, would this reduce their collection development role  to APC bean-counting, much of which will become the purview of offices of research whose involvement will merely be one of marking APCs as a line item in grant funding disbursement accounting? Would this be a good or a bad thing? 

–Where is discussion about the opportunity cost of diverting a portion of hard-to-get state-funded research dollars to funding APCs? What research, e.g. for renewal energy, or cancer or agricultural research for developing countries, now goes by the wayside?  

–Will societies and university publishers just gradually assimilate the newly emerging APC regime for their economic survival in funding membership activities, without discussions about possible threats to financial stability or discussions about the larger philosophical premises of doing so?

 

–On the philosophical issues, shouldn’t society publishers worry about governmental ideological manipulation of who within their memberships gets grant-funded APCs?  Sure, one could make that argument about federal grant funding per se. But doesn’t the latter arguably addresses an externality that (in an ideal world) concerns the common good, while APC funding is an externality that does *not* necessitate federal subsidizing–given that scholarly publishing mechanisms can and should be developed that don’t require federal subsidy?  These are points everyone should ask regardless of political affiliation.

–From what one speaker at Charleston said, the complexities of negotiating with publishers has a new overlay: tortuous internecine discussions among consortial members. If  this is true of all consortia, one has the sense that consortial leaders now have to have to engage game theoretic scenarios not only with respect to publishers, but also their individual members. Just imagine how much more complicated all this will now become with the pressures on libraries to pay for APCs. Isn’t it undesirable to introduce this added complexity, at least at this juncture? Why not just work on contracting the number of journals published, about which . . . 

–I’ve been arguing for contracting the number of journals, a la something like Bradford’s Law. A refinement on that: we need to distinguish two rationales for contracting the journal space. These are:

Rationale (1.) An argument on the principled basis that it is desirable to contract the number of journals, given that the ever-growing glut of journal articles undermines the common good of discoverability and assimilation of research findings.

Rationale (2.) An argument from economic reality: library budgets are relatively flat so we need to deconstruct Big Deals or even the number of subscribed journals regardless the journal sales model.

Shouldn’t big consortia use their negotiating power to argue that the ever-rising prices of journals (not to mention pressures for APCs merely to replicate the price dynamics of toll-access publishing) necessitates contracting the number of journals?  This point extends not just to toll-access publishing, but also gold ones? If so, pursuing rationale (1) for contracting the journal space aligns neatly with rationale (2) for doing so. I.e., rationale (2) becomes the vehicle for accomplishing rationale (1).

–I’ve also argued that consortia with journal negotiating power should educate their faculty about the need to contract the journal space. A refinement to that, too: the discussions should focus on rationale (1) above, rather than (2), which concer

Do Publishers Suddenly Hate Libraries?

” In a memo to authors and agents last month, Macmillan CEO John Sargent all but blamed libraries for depressing book sales and author earnings. “Historically, we have been able to balance the great importance of libraries with the value of your work,” Sargent claimed. “The current e-lending system does not do that.”

I’m far from the first to observe this, but the claims in Sargent’s memo are questionable at best….

Do publishers and authors see the library’s relationship to them as more symbiotic, or parasitic?…”

There are dark hints that the hand of Amazon is at work in the current tensions over library e-book lending, including reports that Amazon reps have been showing publishers data to portray library e-book lending in a negative light….”

New Opportunities in Libraries: Open Access, Open Content, and Collection

[Only the first two pages are OA.]

Abstract:  The emergence of open access is one of the most significant changes to the world of scholarly publications since the migration from print to digital publishing began. Reports of some authors have demonstrated how libraries across the membership are changing, in response to a need for new services and an increasingly diverse client group. In order to contribute to the existing knowledge in the area of open access movement in libraries, this chapter discusses how the 21st century library provides a service that can open access to knowledge for the growth and development of communities they serve by highlighting the concept of open access and open content, roles of libraries in open access initiative as well as library collection development and open access. This chapter also sheds light on legal and ethical issues in open access and the future of open access in libraries.

3D printing revives skeletal study program at Countway – Harvard Gazette

“Now, staff members at the Medical School’s Countway Library are reviving the initiative with a 21st-century twist. They’re planning to assemble new boxes of replica human bones and skulls rendered through 3D printing in a program they’re calling Beyond the Bone Box….

The library houses an anatomical museum, which is expected to preserve rare anatomical specimens in perpetuity, but as part of the library system, it also has an educational mission. Creating 3D models of rare specimens allows the museum to safeguard the originals while still allowing Countway’s special collections to be used as teaching tools….

“A bone box is mostly about access,” Hall said. “With a collection that has human remains in it … education is critical to your existence. Otherwise this is just a strange horde that you never share, and ethically that’s irresponsible.” …”