This is perhaps not the moment at which institutions want to hear that they have to make additional investments in something that feels optional, but they really need to hear this:
- If you expect your faculty to publish, you must provide the means for them to do so.
- If you expect scholarly publishing to turn a profit, or even break even, you may want to stop holding your breath.
- If you allow commercial entities to take over scholarly publishing, because they can afford to do so, you must expect their predatory, monopolistic practices to encroach on the access you have to your own faculty’s work, and to diminish the impact that their work can have both inside and outside the academy.
There is no solution to this conundrum except for institutions to recognize that they must become responsible for supporting scholarly communication, and that this support will require treating the technologies and the labor involved in publishing as part of the institution’s infrastructure.
Friday, September 3, 2010
This is a little late, but Kathleen Fitzpatrick has a great post up about the demise of Rice University Press and the fallacy of thinking digital = practically free. In particular: