On May 7, the University of North Texas' Open Access Policy Committee issued a draft Policy on Open Access to Scholarly Works.
According to the Open Access @ UNT web site:
The Committee sees this as an initial step in broadening discussion by the UNT campus community on open access and the policy. The Policy on Open Access to Scholarly Works. This draft was distributed to the UNT Faculty Senate at its May 12, 2010 meeting. The Committee will be disseminating information across campus about the policy in the coming weeks.
At this meeting, the UNT Faculty Senate voted to approve a Resolution for Consideration of an Open Access Policy for UNT Scholarship:
Resolution for Consideration of an Open Access Policy for UNT Scholarship
Approved by the UNT Faculty Senate, May 12, 2010
WHEREAS, the University of North Texas (UNT) is a state-funded public university, and
WHEREAS, UNT Faculty members are determined to take advantage of new technologies to increase access to their scholarly works among scholars worldwide, educators, policymakers, and the public, and
WHEREAS, UNT Faculty members engage in a wide range of scholarly activities that result in new knowledge, understandings, and expressions, and
WHEREAS, UNT Faculty members are committed to disseminating as widely as possible the results of their scholarly activities, and
WHEREAS, increased access and visibility of the scholarship serve UNT Faculty members' interests by promoting greater reach and impact, and
WHEREAS, the University's and Faculty members' status and reputation are enhanced when the scholarship is easily discoverable and accessible, and
WHEREAS, UNT Libraries play an essential role in providing broad accessibility to Faculty members' scholarly works and ensuring long-term stewardship and preservation of these works, no matter the format, and
WHEREAS, UNT Faculty members recognize the potential of open access (i.e., free, unrestricted, and online access) as a means to carry out their commitment to disseminate the products of their scholarship,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the University of North Texas Faculty Senate that it will consider the concept of open access to scholarly works, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if an open access policy is drafted, it will be submitted to the Faculty Senate for deliberation and consideration of support.
An excerpt from the Association of Research Libraries' May 3, 2010 Media Advisory:
"The provosts and presidents of 27 major private and public research institutions have voiced their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act in an "Open Letter to the Higher Education Community," released Friday by the Harvard University Provost. The Act, first introduced in the Senate last year, was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 15. The letter signals expanded support for public access to publicly funded research among the largest research institutions in the U.S."
The letter reads, in part:
"As scholars and university administrators, we are acutely aware that the present system of scholarly communication does not always serve the best interests of our institutions or the general public. Scholarly publishers, academic libraries, university leaders, and scholars themselves must engage in an ongoing dialogue about the means of scholarly production and distribution. This dialogue must acknowledge both our competing interests and our common goals. The passage of FRPAA will be an important step in catalyzing that dialogue, but it is not the last one that we will need to take.
"FRPAA is good for education and good for research. It is good for the American public, and it promotes broad, democratic access to knowledge. While it challenges the academy and scholarly publishers to think and act creatively, it need not threaten nor undermine a successful balance of our interests. If passed, we will work with researchers, publishers, and federal agencies to ensure its successful implementation. We endorse FRPAA's aims and urge the academic community, individually and collectively, to voice support for its passage."
The full text of the open letter is available on Harvard's web site:
The full list of signatories:
Mark Kamlet, Provost and Senior Vice President, Carnegie Mellon University
Kent Fuchs, Provost, Cornell University
Carol Folt, Dean of Faculty and Acting Provost, Dartmouth College
Peter Lange, Provost, Duke University
Steven Hyman, Provost, Harvard University
Karen Hanson, Provost and Executive Vice President, Indiana University
David Hodge, President, Miami University
Kim A. Wilcox, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Michigan State University
E. Gordon Gee, President, Ohio State University
Joseph Alutto, Provost, Ohio State University
Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President and Provost, Pennsylvania State University
Christopher L. Eisgruber, Provost, Princeton
Philip Furmanski, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Michael T. Marsden, Dean of the College and Academic Vice President, St. Norbert College
John Etchemendy, Provost, Stanford University
Eric F. Spina, Vice Chancellor and Provost, Syracuse University
Michael A. Bernstein, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Tulane University
Lawrence Pitts, Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of California
George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Berkeley
Enrique J. Lavernia, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, University of California, Davis
R. Michael Tanner, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago
Wallace Loh, Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Iowa
Vincent Price, Provost, University of Pennsylvania
James V. Maher, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
Donald R. Bobbitt, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington
Steven W. Leslie, Executive Vice-President and Provost, University of Texas at Austin
Edward S. Macias, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Washington University in St. Louis
Library Journal, in its annual Periodical Price Survey, says that the current state of the dollar means that journal prices will likely average 7-8% more in cost next year. Given the state budget deficit and the effect that will undoubtedly have on funding for higher education, LJ's forecast raises concern about the Libraries' ability to hold off journal cancellations.
Contrary to perceptions that access issues only affect scientists, LJ projects that journals in the social sciences and arts / humanities will actually have a higher price increase than science journals (7.8-7.9% for the former, 7.3% for the latter).
Price increases notwithstanding, indications are that all academic publishers were affected by the economic downturn. In February 2010, ESBCO conducted a private survey of its 100 largest business partners, including STM and society publishers, university presses, and for-profit consumer houses. Sixty percent of those responding said that the economic downturn had a negative impact on their business in 2009. Twenty-five percent reported a one percent to five percent decline in orders; 30 percent, a five percent to ten percent decline; and 17 percent, a more than ten percent drop.
As expected, print orders in particular declined for 2010, with 58 percent of publishers reporting a reduction in print orders in the five percent to ten percent range. Most publishers also noted that efforts to recapture lost print orders had failed. When asked about pricing plans for 2011, 80 percent of publishers indicated they were considering price increases, possibly coupled with pricing model changes.
The last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 saw a number of major publisher acquisitions and mergers. In December 2009, Cinven and Candover announced the sale of Springer to EQT, a Swedish private equity firm. While the Springer sale may not have an immediate consequence on the library market, the new owners will ultimately expect a reasonable return on their investment, which could mean increased pricing pressures. Although the Wiley-Blackwell merger took place in 2007, repercussions were still being felt in 2009 as consortia negotiated new contracts for the combined content. Despite a poor economy and pruned library budgets, the new contracts provided little relief for libraries.