Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
ISSN 1534-0937
Libraries · Policy · Technology · Media


Selection from Cites & Insights 10, Number 7: June 2010


Bibs & Blather

Open Access and Libraries

Open Access and Libraries: Essays from Cites & Insights, 2001-2009 is now available via Lulu, at lulu.com/content/8764834

The 519-page book is available as a free PDF download or as a 6×9 trade paperback for $17.50. (If you’re wondering, I get $2.10 of that $17.50. For every three print copies purchased, I can buy lunch.) I’d like to think the cover design is obvious for anyone who knows much about OA. I could be wrong.

Why this book?

In short:

·         I’ve stopped writing about open access within Cites & Insights for a number of reasons.

·         When I asked a couple of knowledgeable people whether a collection of those essays might have some value, the answer was Yes.

From the time I made the draft PDF and some different trial ePub versions available (through April 26, for reasons that aren’t relevant here), the PDF has been downloaded 123 times and the epub versions have been viewed/downloaded anywhere from 71 to 290 times each. So, even with lots of ebook-oriented folks looking at those versions just for fun, I conclude that a few dozen people find enough value in this to download it.

In long–here’s the introduction to the book:

This book brings together articles (and, in a few cases, sections of articles) on open access and other aspects of library access to scholarship that appeared in Cites & Insights.

Articles appear exactly as they did in the original journal, modified only to fit the book’s page size and typography. No updates or corrections have been made (except for one or two typographical errors. Articles appear in strict chronological order. There is no additional commentary.

This book appears only for the record. It is not a comprehensive overview of OA during the first decade of the new millennium, and it is not even a comprehensive view of what Walt Crawford thinks about OA. It is what it is: A record of what I published about OA during that decade, quite possibly omitting some short pieces.

The first C&I article related to OA, before that name was well established in the field, appeared in May 2001. (At the time, the term was FOS—Free Online Scholarship.) The last, as I was concluding that I was no longer able to add value to OA-related discussions, appeared in November 2009. Quite a few appeared during those nine years. I’ve also included one “disContent” column from EContent that’s directly on topic (that column appears as submitted, not necessarily exactly as published).

It’s possible, even likely, that some OA-related commentary within Cites & Insights doesn’t appear here—for example, predictions from Peter Suber and others would have appeared in larger Trends & Quick Takes articles, not picked up for this compilation.

Thanks to Peter Suber for agreeing that this might be a worthwhile compilation.

But There’s No Index!

For which I apologize. I had planned to include a partial index—including people, journals, article titles, but probably not topics—using Word’s indexing facilities.

It was not to be. Perhaps it’s the sheer length of this book; perhaps it’s the number of sections. Maybe there’s some obscure bug in Word2007.

Whatever the case, whenever I go beyond the first 60 pages or so, using “Mark All” and “Mark” as appropriate to flag index points (hey, Peter Suber’s name appears a few dozen times!), then save the result, then open that result…well, the result is chaos. Last time, the 519-page book suddenly turned into 1,290 pages, with multiple lines of headers from various chapters making up a huge and unchangeable page footer on each page.

If this was a project expected to yield significant income, I might prepare a separate index document—but for a book this long, that would take scores of hours. I honestly can’t justify the time for a book that’s being given away in electronic form and sold for barely more than the cost of production in print form.

If this book is useful, maybe some reader will generate an index. If not, well, again, my apologies.

I now have a pretty good idea what was causing the autoindex blowups (it was a bug, but between my ears more than within the software)–but the fix would make indexing more effort than I could justify. (It has to do with indexed terms appearing within page headings…)

What’s Here?

Here’s the table of contents–noting that articles appear in strictly chronological order:

Introduction. 1

Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm. 3

Scholarly Journals and Grand Solutions. 23

The Access Puzzle: Notes on Scholarly Communication. 34

The Access Puzzle (January 2003) 50

Scholarly Article Access (Formerly The Access Puzzle) 58

Open-Access Journals. 64

Sabo, SOAF, SOAN and More. 70

Getting That Article: Good News. 89

Scholarly Article Access (November 2003) 92

Scholarly Article Access (January 2004) 102

Tipping Point for the Big Deal?. 113

Library Access to Scholarship. 121

Library Access to Scholarship (June 2004) 131

The Empire Strikes Back. 140

Library Access to Scholarship (September 2004) 167

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2004) 193

Library Access to Scholarship (January 2005) 210

Library Access to Scholarship (March 2005) 221

Library Access to Scholarship (June 2005) 233

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2005) 248

Library Access to Scholarship (May 2006) 261

Thinking About Libraries and Access. 279

Pioneer OA Journals: The Arc of Enthusiasm, Five Years Later 285

Pioneer OA Journals: Preliminary Additions from DOAJ 296

Library Access to Scholarship (December 2006) 313

Open Access and Rhetorical Excess. 334

Library Access to Scholarship (July 2007) 355

PRISM: Enough Rope?. 366

Harvard & Institutional Repositories. 382

Signs Along the Way. 399

OA Controversies. 408

The Death of Journals (Film at 11) 430

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2009) 443

Closing Notes

It’s a 6×9 trade paperback because single-column serif text set on a 4 line is just about optimal for reading long text…there’s a reason most text-oriented books (other than mass-market paperbacks, which squeeze every word possible onto each page) are 6×9 or thereabouts.

Yes, you can download the PDF and print it out, and maybe save a couple of bucks (if you can print 519 pages for less than $17.50). You won’t get the cover, and I’m afraid you’d be wasting a lot of paper on a typical 8.5×11 printer–but it’s your choice. The paperback version is there as a convenience; I don’t plan to get rich off $2.10 times an anticipated sale of one to ten print copies. Especially since I bought one copy for my own records–which wipes out the profit on the first seven sales.

The typeface is Berkeley Oldstyle Book, which is still my preferred text face for books (and was the C&I typeface for several years).

Oh…about the ePub version:

I never did find a truly satisfactory conversion that didn’t cost money.

Lulu seems to have offed a lot of their FAQs in favor of articles that are harder to make my way through, and at this point I don’t quite understand how I’d attach an ePub version to the project.

Therefore, until further notice, I’ll leave the most recent ePub version available—just go to waltcrawford.name/oal.epub. (That’s an el, not a one.)

If you read Walt at Random, you’ve already read all of this. I didn’t include the book cover here, since this isn’t a Big Promotional Push to Build my Retirement Fund. (It’s basically two gradient fills from the top-left and bottom-right corner representing the two primary colors of OA; no big deal.)

ALA and Rehearsals for [Semi?-]Retirement

I’m still hoping to find sponsorship for Cites & Insights starting in July 2010. At least to that extent, I’d like to stay semi-retired. I’m open to other possibilities as well, to be sure.

On the other hand, as I try to put together specific proposals (e.g., for books), I find little zeal for doing anything marginal—either for the field or for my own interests. When I come up with an idea I believe a publisher would go for and I’m capable of doing, I’m not ready to flesh out and submit the idea unless it’s something I really want to do—and something I believe will have substantial value for the field. Otherwise, why bother? But I don’t always know what I would find interesting and worthwhile doing. For example, I wouldn’t have thought of the part-time position that (unfortunately) ended recently, but I believe I was the best person available to do that job.

Am I just rehearsing for retirement? [Phil Ochs RIP.] I honestly don’t know.

Meanwhile, I will be at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., and would be delighted to discuss sponsorship, part-time possibilities, writing/research ideas or whatever. I’m taking a red-eye Thursday night, so should be in DC by noon Friday, June 25 (but perhaps not in my room yet), and I’ll be there through Sunday evening (leaving very early on Monday, June 28). Known commitments at this point include the program I’m speaking at, Sunday 10:30 a.m.-noon. Otherwise, I’m open to possibilities (and plan to be at the Bloggers’ Salon). My email address is waltcrawford at gmail dot com. Or you can always follow me on FriendFeed: I pretty consistently use waltcrawford or walt.crawford as a username.

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, Volume 10, Number 7, Whole Issue 130, ISSN 1534-0937, a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, is written by Walt Crawford.

This issue sponsored by the Library Society of the World (LSW).

Comments should be sent to waltcrawford@gmail.com. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is copyright © 2010 by Walt Crawford: Some rights reserved.

All original material in this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/1.0 or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

URL: citesandinsights.info/civ10i7.pdf