Open Access publishing: The promise and the reality for libraries


Michael Leach, Physics Research Library, Physics Research Library, Harvard University, 17 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Open Access, as a new publishing model, promises to deliver a number of advantages for readers and librarians, including little or no cost for libraries, free access to any interested reader, liberal copyright agreements and extensive permissions for authors. Some envision Open Access as the magic bullet that will solve the serials crisis of the past decade. Certain challenges, though, have arisen already, including the potential high cost of article page charges, which can hinder adoption by research communities; the initiation of "support fees" paid by libraries in lieu of article charges; numerous long-term preservation and archiving issues; and an untried economic model. Other issues are just beginning to arise: "fiscal aggregation" of article fees via libraries; implementation of LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) models to enhance persistence of digital articles; the impact on collection development and technical services in libraries; and integration with institutional repositories. This presentation will address these challenges, focusing on the near-future impact of Open Access publishing on library collections, budgets and services.