Open Access to Scientific Information – What It Will Bring to the Libraries and Who Will Pay for It? [contribution]
Author: Martin Vítů, Charles University - Institute of Librarianship and Information Studies, Czech Republic
The library budgets are not sufficient to further cover the increasing numbers and costs of quality scientific journals. Open access to scientific information is seen as a solution to this situation. But it should perhaps be considered as a challenge as well.
Firstly, the funds to publishers will not flow through the libraries any more. The content may be free to readers but the costs of publishing have still to be paid by someone else. While now the libraries decide how to allocate their funds, they will lose control of these financial flows. With information freely available libraries can not require funding for acquisition of library materials.
Secondly, overcoming the subscription barrier may be the reason why some patrons find the library services still attractive. If quality information is freely available on the Internet the use of library services may decline.
Thirdly, libraries will continue to lose their traditional functions - acquisition and storage of stocks. They will no longer select journals to buy or purchase access to – they just will have access – as any other Internet user in the world. On the other hand the institutional libraries will have to help authors in the publishing process. This may include paying the submission fees, finding the suitable open access journal or repository or even create and maintain repository for their parent institution.
About the author
After finishing Higher School of Information Services in 1996 went the author on to study at the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship (IISL), Faculty of Arts, Charles University. He graduated in 2001. Since then he has been working as an information specialist in the field of economics and finance. 2003 he began his PhD studies at the IISL. His main interest focuses on application of classical bibliometric methods to evaluate scientific development and on quantitative aspects of scholarly communication in the electronic environment.
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