Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Paul Royster

Date of this Version



Presented at Scholarly Communication Symposium, Raynor Library, Marquette University, February 11, 2013.


Copyright (c) 2013 Paul Royster.


What is “open access”? “Gratis OA” vs "Libre OA" The difference in the 2 definitions derives from their different economic bases.

There are two recognized business models of Open Access: Green OA vs Gold OA

My beef with Gold and Hybrid OA: • We are giving our money to the same folks who have been holding our content for ransom for the past 50 years. • What if we put these resources into developing our own means of production and distribution?

Questions: 1) Does scholarly communication have to be a commercial transaction? 2) Is “open access” just a way to provide an alternate income stream for commercial publishers?

Open Access literature may suggest … That “open access” is all about sitting around the campfire singing “Kumbaya”.

But … The two schools of thought are engaged in a somewhat bitter disagreement: “Gratis OA isn’t open access at all; it’s merely free access.”

“From now on, Open Access means CC-BY.” Heather Joseph, SPARC Repositories Meeting, Kansas City, March 2012 “It is about time to stop calling anything Open Access that is not covered by CC-BY, CC-zero, or equivalent.” Jan Velterop (Elsevier, Springer, BMC, & AQnowledge), LIBLICENSE listserve, March 2012

Open access publishing needs to be a “big tent” and accommodate different definitions, models, flavors, and opinions.

At UNL, we have supported and promoted “open access” for 8 years.

Zea Books & examples.

Peer review & Creative Commons licenses -- admission or exclusion to the OA fraternity.

We do not use Creative Commons licenses. We do not insist on peer review. But we feel we are doing what is best for us and for our authors.

MOOCs will represent either: 1) A need for open access scholarly and educational materials, such as e-textbooks, or 2) A massive windfall for some commercial publishers.

I don’t think you have to destroy the Elseviers … You just need to make the academic market unprofitable for them. Then they will depart on their own accord. They have no deep commitment to scholarship per se.

Can we separate scholarship from the profit economy? Or must it always be monetized? Will the academy take back control of its own intellectual production? Will libraries lead the way?

Download button links to pdf version of PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint slides are attached below as Additional file.