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Re: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Flawed Method and No Data Rick Anderson 14 Nov 2006 15:45 UTC

> > Stevan seems to doubt that librarians will know when a journal
> becomes
> > completely self-archived, but I suggest that he underestimates the
> > increasing budget pressures that are shaping our subscription
> behavior.
> Given the volume of his output, I'm sure I'm missing something, but in
> rereading the critique, I don't see this.

He expressed his doubt in this way: "How could librarians (or anyone)
*know* what
percentage of a journal was accessible for free, self-archived, for any
particular journal?"  (Look about 1/3 of the way down in his 3,000-word

> >We'll start asking publishers to send us lists of those titles for
> which they allow
> > self-archiving.
> Aren't these permissions generally set at the publisher, rather than
> title level?  Isn't this information publicly available?

Generally, yes.  My point is that when it becomes clear that
self-archiving is becoming more the rule than the exception, librarians
(at least the ones at my institution) will start doing the work
necessary to determine which titles are fully or almost fully available
on an OA basis, and will adjust subscription lists accordingly.
Widespread OA would certainly lead to a significant number of
cancellations.  Again, this is not necessarily an argument against OA.
But it's an argument against the idea that publishers (especially
society publishers that rely on journal subscriptions for a substantial
amount of their incomes) shouldn't be worried about the effects of OA on
their ability to do business.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273