Harvard Faculty Advisory Council issues letter warning that costly subscriptions 'cannot be sustained'
On April 17, Harvard's Faculty Advisory Council issued a Memorandum on Journal Pricing to faculty members in all schools, faculties, and units. It warns of an "untenable situation facing the Harvard Library," citing a publishing environment where:
- "Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands"
- "Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices"
- The same publishers enjoy "profit margins of 35% and more"
The faculty council concludes that continuing to subscribe to journals under current pricing models "would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised." It offers these recommendations to Harvard faculty colleagues:
- Make sure that all of your own papers are accessible by submitting them to DASH in accordance with the faculty-initiated open-access policies.
- Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access.
- If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning.
- Contact professional organizations to raise these issues.
- Encourage professional associations to take control of scholarly literature in their field or shift the management of their e-journals to library-friendly organizations.
- Encourage colleagues to consider and to discuss these or other options.
The letter has been covered by the Chronicle of Higher Education
, Inside Higher Education
, and the Atlantic
Posted by stemp003 at April 27, 2012 11:50 AM