This s a traditional print publication, freezing in time a series of fleeting e-mail messages that envision a future of publishing that goes well beyond print. We have heard many sanguine predictions about the demise of paper publishing, but life is short and the inevitable day still seems a long way off. This is a subversive proposal that could radically hasten that day. It is applicable only to ESOTERIC (non-trade, no-market) scientific and scholarly publication (but that is the lion's share of the academic corpus anyway), namely, that body of work for which the author does not and never has expected to SELL the words. The scholarly author wants only to PUBLISH them, that is, to reach the eyes and minds of peers, fellow esoteric scientists and scholars the world over, so that they can build on one another's contributions in that cumulative. collaborative enterprise called learned inquiry.
Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads: A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing
Proceedings of the 2006 ARL/CNI Fall Forum, "Improving Access to Publicly Funded Research: Policy Issues and Strategies." Sarah E. Thomas presents on the DPubS Digital Publishing System.
Proceedings of the 149th ARL Membership Meeting, October 2006.
This statement arose out of a 2005 meeting of library leaders hosted by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and articulates four actions needed to support the development of qualified preservation archives for scholarly e-journals.
This discussion considered the emerging landscape of publisher business practices, legal options, and alternatives such as more effective negotiation practices.
Example presentation for library staff.
Using data from more than 400 legal serials, Mark McCabe estimates the impact of six publisher mergers on law serial prices during the period 1990–2000. The results suggest that merger-related price increases were substantial during this period, even after accounting for secular price trends.
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Keynote Address, delivered at "Scholarly Tribes and Tribulations: How Tradition and Technology Are Driving Disciplinary Change," Washington, DC, October 17, 2003
Jean-Claude Guédon • 2001 • ISBN 0-918006-81-3 • 70 pp.
Dr. Guédon made a presentation on these ideas in May 2001 at ARL's 138th Membership Meeting, a meeting held in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries in Toronto. The presentation was received very positively and, Dr. Guédon agreed to write a paper to encourage further discussion. The result is the paper in hand. In Oldenburg’s Long Shadow is published by ARL with permission of the author in order to stimulate further discussion and new thinking on the important issues that he raises.
Print copies are also available for $15.00 plus shipping & handling.
Proceedings of the 133rd ARL Membership Meeting, "Confronting the Challenges of the Digital Era," October 1998.
The "Tempe Principles" were agreed to by the undersigned individuals as a result of a meeting held in Tempe, Arizona, on March 2-4, 2000. Sponsored by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Merrill Advanced Studies Center of the University of Kansas, the meeting was held to facilitate discussion among the various academic stakeholders in the scholarly publishing process and to build consensus on a set of principles that could guide the transformation of the scholarly publishing system.
A scanned version of SPEC Kit 250 (Transforming Libraries 10) is available full view through HathiTrust. View document here »
Special issue of "Policy Perspectives", co-sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, and the Pew Higher Education Roundtable. This Policy Perspectives is about the challenge of maintaining access to significant researchand scholarship at a time when both the volume and price of information have increased nearly three-fold in the last decadealone.
ARL and its partner library associations issued these principles in 1997 and then developed a series of workshops on licensing to introduce the library community to best practices in contract terms and negotiations.
A PDF of SPEC Flyer 223 (Transforming Libraries 3) is available here spec-kit-223-electronic-scholarly-publication.pdf
On May 28, 2014, the US House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014, H.R. 4186. The bill seeks to reauthorize sections of the America COMPETES Act relating to the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The bill is highly controversial and opposed by many organizations and institutions.
image © Sharon Somero
On May 27, 2014, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a letter to the editor entitled, “Ebook Pricing Hikes Amount to Price-Gouging.” As a result of announced price increases that appear to be “an experiment in predatory pricing,” the Boston Library Consortium has pledged to address these increases by rewarding those publishers whose prices remain reasonable.
image © diylibrarian“Unwrapping the Bundle: An Examination of Research Libraries and the ‘Big Deal’,” by Karla L. Strieb of the Ohio State University (OSU) and Julia C. Blixrud of ARL has been added to the OSU Knowledge Bank. The authors’ final version has been accepted for publication in portal: Libraries and the Academy. Based on the findings of a 2012 survey of ARL member libraries about journal bundles, this article compares results to earlier studies and examines the product structure, pricing models, and license terms.
Under the auspices of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the LIBLICENSE Model License for e-resources is undergoing a vigorous overhaul by a team of North American practitioners and experts. The model license has served as a negotiating framework and has been widely used by libraries and consortia for many years. An initial draft of the revised model license will be available in late spring 2014. Later in the year, the software that enables users to build their own agreements will be rewritten and released.
For more information, see the March 13, 2014, CRL news release, “North American Working Group to Revise Model License,” or contact
image © Université de MontréalOn January 14, the Université de Montréal (UdeM) libraries announced that they are cancelling their subscriptions to 1,142 of 1,510 periodicals in the Wiley Online Library at the end of the month. New issues of the cancelled titles will no longer be available online to the UdeM community, but access to earlier issues will be maintained. In a news release (English translation [PDF]), the libraries note that the cancellations are the result of several factors, including budget cuts imposed by the Québec government and annual subscription price increases between 3% and 6%.
image © Mitchell Joyce and Kristin MansonThe Association of American University Presses (AAUP) surveyed its members and ARL libraries in 2012 to identify elements of successful collaborations. The survey included questions on operational and financial structures and resulted in descriptions of the variety of existing relationships between presses and libraries. Follow-up interviews with some respondents were conducted in 2013. Today AAUP released a report, Press and Library Collaboration Survey, that includes a number of broad conclusions and recommendations for successful collaboration. For an overview and to read the full report, see the AAUP news release, “Successful Press-Library Collaborations Rely on Complementary Skills, Resources, and Missions.”
image © CERN, credit Lucas TaylorUnder the leadership of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, partners in 24 countries are participating in the largest-scale global open access initiative ever built—SCOAP3. Involving an international collaboration of more than 1,000 libraries, library consortia, and research organizations, SCOAP3 will make it possible for a significant percentage of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics to become open access at no cost for any author and with a reduction of subscription fees for libraries. Everyone will be able to read the articles, authors will retain copyright, and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information.
SCOAP3The SCOAP3 model is built on redirecting funds currently used to pay for subscriptions to participating journals to support their conversion to open access, as well as to cover article-processing fees in existing open access journals. Launch of SCOAP3 is scheduled for January 1, 2014, and confirmation of participation is requested by November 15, 2013. SCOAP3 costs institutions no more than they are paying now for the subscriptions and has, due to unprecedented global negotiations, driven reductions in publisher article-processing fees when SCOAP3 goes live and will ensure the granting of CC-BY licenses for the articles. For US libraries that have not yet confirmed their participation, information can be found on the LYRASIS website or by contacting
image © Right to Research CoalitionSPARC’s student initiative, the Right to Research Coalition, has released a video interview of Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore who won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a breakthrough diagnostic for pancreatic cancer. Interviewed by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Andraka discusses how open access articles and NIH’s PubMed Central played a key role in enabling his discovery.
This spring SPARC published a community resource, Article-Level Metrics: A SPARC Primer (PDF), by Greg Tananbaum. Article-level metrics (ALMs) are rapidly emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are being discussed, shared, and used. This SPARC primer provides an overview of what ALMs are, why they matter, how they complement established utilities and metrics, and how they might be considered for use in the tenure and promotion process.