A post by Phil Davis in the Scholarly Kitchen blog about how the victim-villain narrative of the poor library/graduate student/lowly paid faculty member vs. the greedy predatory publisher is a false one and the overlooked narrative of the library being slowly starved by its parent institution is harder to swallow but more closer to the truth.
Electronic journals have dramatically changed how researchers access and use information. This report conducted for the Research Information Network at the University College of London is brief and highly readable. A notable finding is "the greater the use of e-journals, the more research papers are published per academic; the greater the number of PhD awards from the research councils; and the greater the value of research council grants."
An analysis of economic challenges found in the scholarly journals industry. Provides an excellent overview of why academic libraries are unable to keep up with rising subscription costs and journal proliferation. Written by Mike Peine, of the Allen Press (scientific journal publisher).
Richard Poynder, a free lance journalist, explains commercial journal publishers' library sales model, commonly known as "The Big Deal". This model has been a boon and a bete noire to academic librarians for the past decade as they struggle to provide their researchers with needed information sources while trying to hold down costs.
"Who are the most ruthless capitalists in the western world? Whose monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist? You won't guess the answer in a month of Sundays. While there are plenty of candidates, my vote goes not to the banks, the oil companies or the health insurers, but – wait for it – to academic publishers. Theirs might sound like a fusty and insignificant sector. It is anything but. Of all corporate scams, the racket they run is most urgently in need of referral to the competition authorities."
From The Chronicle of Higher Education (7/17/2011) describing several publicly funded academic libraries that have canceled their multi-year package subscriptions with for-profit publishers as a way to cope with shrinking budgets.
"There’s no way to sugarcoat the impact higher serials prices have on the information marketplace, or the dire state of funding for libraries. Libraries are no longer in a position of having to cut low-use journals in order to make room for high-use ones; instead, they are now being forced to cancel heavily used, even essential subscriptions, much to the dismay of their patrons. The economy still drives any discussion of serials pricing, and it remains a very ugly story."
Written in 2005 to address challenges libraries face in supporting scholarly communication amidst rising serials costs, this white paper describes the nature of the problem, examines its roots, and reviews some promising developments.