Open access in libraries
This paper discusses the general background and basic concepts of open access, as well as its current developments. The paper also offers a constructive critique on the pros and cons of open access from the perspectives of libraries, publishers, scholars, and authors. Despite the challenges raised against open access, open access has become a significant movement that libraries cannot be ignored. Libraries need to address both advocacy issues as well as objections in order to assess the contributions of open access to the institutions.
Developing and maintaining a good collection consisting of both print and electronic resources is a tremendous challenge for libraries facing budget constraints. It is under these circumstances that a relatively new trend of collaborative knowledge sharing has emerged, generally referred to as "open access" scholarly communication.
Scholarly communication is an on-going discourse among scholars, researchers, and libraries. They share their resources and research in the spirit of collaborating their scholarly effort and contributing to a shared knowledge base. It is also a forum for establishing and strengthening professional relationships. The rationale behind new forms of such communication is that non-profit information organizations and educational institutions, including universities and libraries, will share the economic burden of overcoming the crisis of increasing prices in scholarly publications.
According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the scholarly communication process has three purposes: (1) to conduct research, develop ideas, and communicate informally with other scholars or scientists; (2) to consult with colleagues about ideas and research findings before they are formally published; (3) to distribute the print or electronic version of the published works to libraries and other networks economically and efficiently (ACRL, 2003, introduction).
As universities and libraries seek alternative publishing models to reduce costs and protect authors' rights as much as possible, open access is considered a feasible system that enables archiving and distribution of scholarly works with minimal or no cost to universities, libraries, or readers. This paper focuses on the framework of open access in relation to libraries. The impact of open access, whether positive or negative, will largely depend on the individual libraries' philosophies, operating practices, and users' needs. In collection development, it is crucial for libraries to be aware of the strengths and limitations of open access, and weigh them against other purchasing or archival systems, before adopting an open access model.
This paper provides a general background to the basic concepts of open access, including the definitions-based Budapest Open Access Initiative, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. A literature review provides current developments, movements, and examples of open access in action, in addition to a constructive critique on the pros and cons of open access from the perspectives of libraries, publishers, scholars, and authors. Despite the challenges raised against open access, such as costs of production and distribution, open access has become a significant movement that libraries cannot ignore. Libraries need to address both advocacy issues as well as objections in order to assess the contributions of open access to the institutions.
In order to assess the impact of open access on authors, publishers and subscribers, we need to understand the historical background of open access. "Framing the Issue," published by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL, 2004) outlines some issues relating to open access. It addresses questions such as:
Access to information is important because society benefits from the open exchange of ideas. Access to copyrighted materials inspires creativity and facilitates research development in academic disciplines. There are troubling economic trends in scholarly publishing; the increasing cost of subscriptions, the emphasis on licensing of access instead of purchasing physical copies, and mergers and acquisitions resulting in price increases and monopolies. Additionally, various legal and legislative issues constitute obstacles that limit access. ARL claims that open access is a cost-effective way to disseminate information and facilitate academic research. Open access is consistent with the legal framework of copyright and can include peer-review to ensure the quality of scholarship (ARL, 2004).
The 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), the 2003 Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, and the 2003 Berlin statement are the three major definitions for open access. Suber (2007) refers to them as the "BBB definition" (p.1). The three definitions listed below have similarities and differences in wording and focus. I will briefly compare their similarities and differences as I discuss the definitions in the following paragraphs.
What is open access? Simply put, open access offers online journals and articles that are free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. The Budapest ("Budapest Open Access Initiative," 2002) definition of open access explains that scholarship is made widely available, but that authors' rights must be recognized:
By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copyright, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. (Bailey, 2007b, p. 2)
The Bethesda statement ("Bethesda Statement on Open Access," 2003) extends the definition offered by the BOAI but contains two key emphases on copyright and archiving:
The essence of the Berlin statement ("Berlin declaration on open access," 2003) is easier to grasp after reading the Budapest and Bethesda statements. Bailey (2007b) observed two interesting points from the Berlin statement (bold in original).
In order to implement the Berlin Declaration institutions should implement a policy to:
According to BOAI, there are two strategies used to achieve open access: self-archiving and open access journals. These two strategies are sometimes overlapping. Self-archiving involves a process of posting pre-print (i.e. a draft of a paper that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal) and post-print (i.e. author's post-peer review, accepted paper submitted for final publication) manuscripts on the author's website, or depositing them in disciplinary archives, institutional archives, or repositories. Two examples of self-archiving models are arXiv (http://arxiv.org/) and D-Space (http://www.dspace.org/). ArXiv, maintained by Cornell University Library, provides open access to 442,721 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology and Statistics (sec. "homepage"). D-Space, developed by MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard, is a digital repository system that accesses, manages, and preserves digital scholarly works. These include books, theses, 3D digital scans of objects, photographs, film, video, and research data sets (sec. "about d-space," "FAQ"). In these publications, metadata of can be stored and retrieved through directories such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).
Peter Suber offered an insightful interpretation of open access. He noted that it is compatible with copyright, peer review, revenue, and other services that are associated with scholarly communication (2007). He also argued that the initiative is "not a kind of business model, license, and content" (p. 7). However, open access can be used with many licenses to remove most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access serves the interests of many groups by increasing research impact; it promotes the dissemination of many taxpayer-funded research findings. Suber argued that the open access project is constructive; it is not an attempt to boycott or undermine non-open access and commercial journals. Rather, it is an alternative and feasible publishing model for universities and libraries. It can help them cope with budget constraints and inflation, in addition to the monopolistic pricing crisis of expensive journals and subscriptions.
While open access begins with the BBB definition (Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin), it does not end there. Open access opens the door that provides an alternative publishing model for journals and books. There are three organizations that play a major role in the publication and archiving of open access journals: BioMed Central, the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and PubMed Central (PMC).
BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is a commercial publishing company that publishes over 181 open access biomedical journals. Although it is a for-profit publisher, BioMed Central is a strong advocate of open access and considers open access a sustainable model to better serve the needs of the scientific and medical research community. BioMed argues that traditional publishing models threaten the budget and survival of the scholarly community as a whole by imposing certain unreasonable access and copyright restrictions. For BioMed Central open access journals, the article-processing charges (APCs), while being reasonably low-cost, enable fast and efficient access to research articles. Free peer-reviewed articles in all areas of scientific and medical research are available immediately on BioMed upon publication. Unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction of articles in any medium are permitted, provided the articles are properly attributed.
Public Library of Science (http://www.plos.org/) is a nonprofit organization that publishes many peer-reviewed, open access scientific and medical journals. Among them are PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, and PLoS Genetics. Like BioMed Central, the PLoS open access journals and articles are published under an open access license that allows unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original work is properly cited. PLoS are committed to providing scholarly research articles that demonstrate excellence, scientific integrity, and breadth; they also wish to cultivate a sense of financial fairness, community engagement, and internationalism (sec. "PLoS Core Principles").
PubMed Central (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/) is a freely available life sciences journal archive managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institutes of Health in the National Library of Medicine (NLM). PubMed Central includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life sciences journals and biomedical articles dating back to the 1950s. There are over 200 journals in the PMC voluntary open access list, including some PLoS journals. PMC also includes links to full text articles and other related resources. PubMed Central believes that giving users free and unrestricted use of health sciences literature is the best way to promote and share research findings in the medical community (sec. "Overview," "FAQs"). After journals and articles are deposited into the archive, they are available to the public at no cost. PubMed Central does not claim copyright on any material deposited in the archive. Copyright is retained by the journal publishers or individual authors.
Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) is a tax-exempt charitable corporation that helps authors apply a license in order to retain the copyright of their work. In other words, Creative Commons restores copyright control to authors so that they can decide how their works can be used and distributed. However, Creative Commons licenses are not guaranteed enforceable in a court of law. Although Creative Commons is not meant to be used as legal deterrent in copyright infringement issues, the various licenses assist the authors in communicating how the public can use their work.
SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (http://www.arl.org/sparc/openaccess/) developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) promotes scholarly communication at an international level through the support of open access journals and development of institutional depositories. The goals of SPARC are to control and reduce the prices of journal subscription, to advocate for alternative publishing models such as open access, and to create a supportive environment to facilitate dialogue. They hope scientists, scholars, and librarians will communicate, "create change," and welcome new challenges.
Create Change, developed by ARL, SPARC, and ACRL, is an educational initiative that examines new opportunities in scholarly communication (http://www.createchange.org/). The three parent organizations hope that open access will accelerate research by expanding fast and efficient access to online articles; these should be free of charge or licensing restrictions (2004). They hope that scholars, students and other readers can benefit from open access in several ways. These include wider audiences, free online access to literature, and efficient sharing of scholarly works.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), developed by Lund University Libraries, covers free, full text, and quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals (http://www.doaj.org/). It was developed to promote access and research impact, and currently includes 2,858 journals in the directory, with 910 journals searchable at article level. DOAJ covers a wide range of sciences, social sciences, and humanities. By adopting a good indexing system and selection criteria, DOAJ claims to be a one-stop shop for users seeking open access journals (sec. "About").
While BioMed Central, PLoS, and PubMed Central are considered the primary innovators in the initial open access movement, the trend did not stop with them. Certain nonprofit information organizations and educational institutions such as universities and libraries are beginning to experiment with the open access model. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), the California Digital Library (CDL), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are a few institutions that continue to help strengthen scholarly communication through open access.
One of the goals of the Social Science Research Network (http://www.ssrn.com/) is to "support the open access movement by providing free submissions to and downloads from the SSRN eLibrary" by encouraging the wide dissemination of social research findings through its twelve sister networks in fields such as Economics, Information Systems, Legal, and Management (sec. "FAQ"). Together with their partners in publishing, the SSRN eLibrary collection consists of an abstract database on 162,600 papers in progress and an electronic paper collection currently containing over 129,500 downloadable full text documents in Adobe Acrobat format.
One of the collections and services offered by the California Digital Library is eScholarship repository (http://repositories.cdlib.org/escholarship/). The open access repository facility enables University of California Libraries to manage scholarly publications such as post prints, journals, and seminar papers. As of this writing, 18,980 papers can be downloaded and they are searchable by campus, research department, journal title, seminar series, or post prints.
Grainger Engineering Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (http://oai.grainger.uiuc.edu/) has launched the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Metadata Harvesting Project to facilitate the searching, access, and retrieval of scholarly works. Harvesting the Digital Gateway to Cultural Heritage Materials collection contains approximately 538,485 metadata records, including information for images, sheet music, and archival materials.
From a bird's eye view, we learned that through open access, it is possible that articles and research findings can be available to public with minimal cost and greater convenience. However, we should not think that those are the only goals of open access. Open access is an alternative publishing model that can enhance the career goals of information professionals.
Yiotis (2005) called the open access initiative a "New Paradigm for Scholarly Communication" (title of the article). The author observed that for scholars, publishing in peer-reviewed journals has a professional purpose: either career-advancement or contribution to their fields. Like traditional publishing, the open access initiative has to contend with factors related to creation, quality control, production, consumption, and support - as well as the budgetary costs associated with these factors. Access and research impact can be maximized if information and findings are shared and distributed widely across academia through open access. Yiotis claimed that the open access initiative "signifies the democratization of knowledge and supports a socially responsible [and equitable] way to disseminate knowledge" (p. 160). As long as internet access is possible, nations around the world are able to engage in an on-going intellectual discourse without the financial burden of electronic subscriptions.
For some open access advocates, the ultimate goal of the open access movement is to achieve 100% open access. Some even believe that open access is the only way for libraries and scholars to "break the stranglehold of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishers" (Van Orsdel & Born, 2004, p. 1). Although the optimistic view of open access advocates are commendable, it is important and practical to distinguish the ideal situation (i.e. 100% open access) and the current open access movement. As of now, open access still faces many obstacles from authors, publishers and subscribers. Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y., et al. (2004) claimed that open access faces two existing challenges: 1) the research journal-affordability problem and 2) the research article access and impact problem (pp. 310-311). The former is related to the libraries' budget constraint and the latter is a result of the decreasing number of journal subscriptions. The authors argued that although the two problems are connected, the access and impact problem is more complicated and serious. While journal-affordability primarily focuses on budget constraint, the access and impact problem is intertwined with other social and cultural barriers such as accessibility or connection issues, filtering, or digital divide. While these research articles are neither free to the producers nor to the readers under the traditional publishing model, open access is concerned with solving the supply-demand problem of journal-affordability as well as the existing social and cultural challenges in publishing.
Harnad et al. (2004) designated the self-archiving route in open access as the "green road" and publishing in open access journals as the "golden road." Research from the latest Joint Information Systems Committee/Rights Metadata for Open archiving (JISC/RoMEO) and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) showed that over 90% of the journals are green but only 5% of the journals are gold (p. 310). From the perspective of educational funding agencies, institutional self-archiving (the green road) is a more promising approach (compared to the golden road) towards maximizing research impact, by sharing the cost of maintenance. Not to mention that colleges and universities are excellent platforms for scholarly communications by enabling faculty members to publish their works or share their research with their fellow colleagues.
Open access articles have a greater citation and research impact than non-open access article. It is evident that open access is a valuable channel to facilitate dialogues and communicate ideas among researchers. Based on research conducted on four disciplines (philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering, and mathematics), Antelman (2004) observed that there is a direct link between free online availability and research impact, although Davis (2006) pointed out that article duplication and self-promotion are two possible causes that can affect the results of citation research analysis. Nonetheless, although open access articles do not directly cause a great research impact, there is a strong positive association between articles being open access and having a stronger research impact. Both Harnad et al. (2004) and Antelman (2004) are optimistic of the future of open access due to the increasing awareness and support among the research and scholarly community.
Contrary to the beliefs of some commercial publishers, skeptics, and other open access opponents that the open access model is financially and structurally unsustainable, the open access movement is growing stronger and has started to create a significant-or at least notable-force among authors, publishers, universities, and libraries. Velterop (2004) claimed that the alleged "unsustainability" has been reduced to "second order" myths because the benefits of open access are obvious in terms of providing free access to all (p. 1). As open access publishers adopt production and distribution roles, they are also responsible for ensuring the transparency and efficiency of the quality control process.
BioMed Central (2004) published a document entitled "(Mis) Leading Open Access Myths," in response to some of the most prevalent arguments against open access. The responses demonstrate that the traditional publishing model restricts access to scholarly articles, due to subscription status, and that open access would not negatively impact research funding. Instead, it would increase research impact. In addition, there is no conflict of interest for open access to employ an authors-pay model and retain the quality and scientific integrity of the publication. BioMed Central also argued against the notion that publishers are the best copyright managers for authors because many publishers use copyright law to protect their profit by controlling access to the literature.
Although open access provides access to online journals and articles that are free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, Suber (2007) warned that it is false to assume that open access is free to produce or publish. He cautioned that "open access is not synonymous with universal access" (p. 7). Open access is free for readers but not for the producers. It faces challenges and barriers in areas such as filtering, censorship, access, and digital divide (p. 7). The realistic goal of open access is not to eliminate the costs of scholarly literature but to minimize unnecessary expenses, allowing the funds to be managed more efficiently and effectively, to provide free archiving and access opportunities. Suber believed that open access models are economically sustainable and he had an optimistic view of the future of open access.
Some of the goals of open access are to reduce copyright restriction and make journal articles more affordable. Suber (2007) stated that open access "removes price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions)" (p. 1). Suber also coined the phrase "royalty-free literature" to refer to literature that authors give to the world without expectation of payment (p. 2). According to Suber, royalty-free literature reduces publishing costs and preserves the author's revenue by restoring copyright to authors and providing free and global access to information.
Two important observations stem from these claims: price and copyright concerns. If price is a barrier to access, and open access journals are made available to readers and users for free, the question arises: How are production, editing, and distribution cost recovered? Bailey (2007a) suggested that some of the common funding sources come from direct author fees, institutional memberships, funding agency payment of author fees, grants to open access publishers, institutional subsides, etc. (sec. "open access journals," para. 2). Suber (2007) pointed out that it is a common mistake to assume that all open access journals use the "authors pay" model. As mentioned above, there are many ways that open access publishers generate revenue to cover the basic production, maintenance, and distribution costs.
According to Suber (2007), the author fees are relatively low and are usually subsidized by the authors' institutions or waived altogether. Another question is: if the authors grant the readers unlimited access and redistribution rights of this royalty-free literature, can the authors retract their agreement anytime? These are certainly important considerations for authors. One of the ways that authors can establish the boundary and the extent of their copyright protection is to apply an open access license to their works. Open access requires the copyright-holder's consent; Suber suggested authors use one of the Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licenses.
Publishers that are critical of the open access model in the beginning have no choice but to confront the challenges and positive impact of open access archiving and publishing. Nonetheless, some publishers still remain skeptical about the sustainability of open access even though many universities, libraries, and other information organizations have begun to adopt some sort of open access approach towards their collection development.
Morris (2004) argued that open access is not a realistic solution to the library budget crisis, nor would it remove the need for journal subscriptions and the costs of production and distribution, since the expenses have been transferred to other channels such as grant funding and authors themselves. Moreover, there is little evidence that open access increases research impact faster and more efficiently than traditional publishers (p. 305). She also pointed out that some publishers routinely make certain significant articles freely accessible to the public. Morris went on to justify how publishers allocate their profits to cover their expenses, but have always reinvested the money back into the intellectual community to sponsor public education and professional activities.
Lamb (2004) adopted a more objective and neutral analysis in examining the opportunities and threats of open access models towards scholarly and academic publishers. While facing challenges and pressure from open access models, traditional publishers must make strategic and innovative decisions. They need to adjust their existing services and pricing to overcome their internal and external weaknesses and threats. On the other hand, open access may bring out the strengths and provide further opportunities for commercial publishers. Lamb suggested that publishers should consider "incorporating a combination of modified open access strategies," such as participating in some self-archiving or institutional repositories, allowing authors to retain copyright, or experimenting with some form of hybrid version of open access. Lamb believed that the future of publishing is embraceable by both commercial and open access publishers (p. 149).
There are mixed reactions from authors towards open access. Some authors welcome the fact that they have more channels to disseminate their research and ideas, and still retain control of copyright of their works. Other authors who are not familiar with open access are wary to adopt an alternative publishing model. Anderson (2004) stated, "author charge, a relative lack of prestige, and the required abdication of copyright" are three characteristics of open access that "may pose significant barriers to author acceptance" (p. 288). Logically authors are very reluctant to pay high charges to be published in mediocre journals, especially if the fees are not waived. Authors' incentives to publish have a lot to do with career advancement, with publication among the factors that can determine salaries, promotions, and funding. In an academic setting, these are a few of the things that can hinge on publishing in core prestige journals.
Some scholars remain neutral as they analyze the benefits and harms of the open access movement. In "The Promise and Peril of Open Access," Guterman (2004) claimed that the "open-access picture is not so black and white" (p. 1). Many scientists and librarians welcome the revolutionary change brought by the movement to fight against the high subscription prices, gain some negotiation power against the publishers, and restore copyright back to the original authors. Guterman quoted Suber's declaration that "open access will accelerate research in every discipline...It will greatly enhance the mission of every university, which is to create knowledge and disseminate knowledge" (sec. "Converts to Open Access").
For some who are doubtful of the feasibility of transferring the existing costs of publishing-whether open access or not-from subscribers to other channels, the future of open access is not entirely optimistic. The debate whether government agencies that sponsor research should be responsible for author fees also remains unresolved. Nonprofit publishers like professional societies worry about the sustainability of their organizations if their journals are forced to be open access (Guterman, 2004, sec. "Collateral Damage"). Although author fees are not an unprecedented move and can be relatively low or waived, some authors are not so enthusiastic about the author-pay model and are skeptical about the prestige and reputation of open access journals. Many universities and libraries still see the demand to subscribe to traditional journals and they are not convinced that open access can resolve their budget crisis, if they are responsible for paying author fees on behalf of their scholars and researchers (sec. "Saving Money").
Despite the fact that Velterop (2004) and BioMed Central (2004) offered strong arguments against the myths regarding the unsustainability of open access, some authors remain skeptical that open access is a feasible option for publishing. In "The Pros and Cons of Open Access," Worlock noted that while the question of who should pay author fees remains, there are other doubts about whether open access can sustain technological challenges. She also questions whether open access will be able to maintain its "capacity for innovation" through support from institutional memberships, sponsors, learned societies, and professional organizations (Worlock, 2007, sec. "Open Access and Capacity for Publishing Innovation").
Nonetheless, it is evident that one of the important contributions of open access publishing is the pressure it puts on commercial or nonprofit publishing to increase access to their journals either on the web or in a more affordable way. Navin and Starratt (2007) observed that increased readership, faster dissemination, and placing publicly funded research in public domain are some of the convincing arguments for open access. While Goodman (2005) claimed to be a supporter of open access, he saw the objective need to address its positive and negative consequences. After examining several possibilities in which open access may or may not be compatible with traditional journals, Goodman (2005) concluded that for now, libraries would most likely have to subscribe to traditional journals until forced to cancel them. As libraries are considering the embargo factor and user needs assessment, they may weigh the advantages and disadvantages of adopting the self-archiving model. If the open access model remains sustainable, libraries may eventually convert to open access. In the meantime, commercial publishers and academic societies should devise various strategic plans to experiment, whether fully or partially, with the open access model.
There are still many unresolved challenges in open access. This paper is ultimately concerned with the impact of open access on libraries. Schmidt, Sennyey, and Carstens (2005) claimed that as libraries play a critical role in scholarly communication, the open access impact on libraries is evident. Although the open access model has become irresistible, the authors are optimistic that commercial and nonprofit publishers will be able to overcome the obstacles and remain competitive with open access in order to promote access to scholarly research. It is predicted that a mixed open access (MOA) model will eventually emerge where traditional publishing and open access models coexist; they may even become interdependent. While playing a role as intermediaries between users and information, librarians need to be proactive, resourceful, and creative in evaluating and assessing the implications of open access and its compatibility with institutional goals, needs, and philosophies.
Some supporters of open access believe that it is possible to create equilibrium in a mixed publishing environment where open access and non-open access co-exist. Schmidt, Sennyey, and Carstens (2005) observed that while libraries are facing competition from the Internet and other commercial information companies, "the advent of the MOA environment makes this task [of overcoming] the competition urgent and complex" (p. 410). For example, there may be additional staff training and extra workload for the departments. There will also be some technological challenges; there are access issues when ensuring that the computer facilities and software are compatible with open access materials. Open access also requires policy and procedure changes, in order to accommodate the additional collections of institutional repositories and open access journals. Subject specialists, bibliographers, and cataloging librarians need to establish guidelines to perform quality control and regular catalog maintenance on these titles.
While deciding whether to adopt the open access initiative as a long term or short term goal, libraries need to be able to convince faculty and researchers regarding the connection between open access and greater research impact. Gedye (2004) claimed that in an open access era, "a new role for librarians needs to be discussed, defined, and promoted" in order to better apply their research and instruction expertise to facilitate and instruct their users in accessing and evaluating the quality of open access articles (p. 272). In "The Criteria for Open Access," Goodman (2004) agreed that "librarians face major rethinking of how library service is to be provided" (p. 262). Goodman connected open access with intellectual freedom issues such as privacy, copyright, censorship, and user anonymity. Librarians carry social and ethical responsibilities in the promotion of open access. They should possess the knowledge, skills, training, and experience to promote information literacy among their users.
In a nutshell, the ultimate purpose of open access is to make scholarly information more accessible and affordable. Open access is a successful model of resource sharing in cooperative collection development due to its widely collaborative institutional efforts. While technology facilitates information dissemination by converting print materials to digital works, it has posed significant challenges to non-profit institutions in terms of meeting increasing subscription costs, and managing difficult negotiations with publishers, particularly when these publishers monopolize the intellectual market and tighten copyright limitations. Universities and libraries need to assess institutional needs and priorities based on the strengths and weaknesses of the open access initiative in their decision-making process. They must decide whether they should reject the open access model, adopt a full open access model, or attempt a mixed publishing model consisting of both open access and commercial publishers. For now, open access and commercial publishing should be able to coexist on the basis of healthy and constructive competition. In light of the urgent budget crunch, it is imperative that libraries should experiment and adopt a cost-efficient publishing model in order to expand the scope of scholarly communication.
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