Here’s another straw in the wind that’s blowing.
Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.
A memo from Harvard Library to the university’s 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.
The extraordinary move thrusts one of the world’s wealthiest and most prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is funded by the taxpayer.
The outcome of Harvard’s decision to take on the publishers will be watched closely by major universities around the world and is likely to prompt others to follow suit…
More than 10,000 academics have already joined a boycott of Elsevier, the huge Dutch publisher, in protest at its journal pricing and access policies. Many university libraries pay more than half of their journal budgets to the publishers Elsevier, Springer and Wiley.
Robert Darnton, director of Harvard Library told the Guardian: "I hope that other universities will take similar action. We all face the same paradox. We faculty do the research, write the papers, referee papers by other researchers, serve on editorial boards, all of it for free … and then we buy back the results of our labour at outrageous prices.
"The system is absurd, and it is inflicting terrible damage on libraries. One year’s subscription to The Journal of Comparative Neurology costs the same as 300 monographs. We simply cannot go on paying the increase in subscription prices. In the long run, the answer will be open-access journal publishing, but we need concerted effort to reach that goal."…
So back to ANU I went this morning.
The top three are from Smashwords freebie list. Note the next four from ANU.
On 1 May I was down at Belmore Basin (Wollongong Harbour) in the afternoon and saw this:
It appears it is part of the Wings Over Illawarra Air Show that comes up on Sunday. So was this yesterday, which I saw only on TV and in this morning’s Illawarra Mercury.
I’m still a sucker for planes…