Fwd: The access problem -- small, medium, or large?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Fri May 14 06:40:41 EDT 2010

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jim Stemper <stemp003 -- umn.edu>
> Date: May 14, 2010 
> To: "liblicense-l -- lists.yale.edu" 
> Subject: The access problem -- small, medium, or large?
>> On Mon, 10 May 2010 19:42:28 EDT, Joseph Esposito
>> <espositoj at gmail.com>wrote:
>> "Harnad is hoping to replace the small problem of access with the
>> large problem of fiscal recklessness."
> The Research Information Network's 2009 study
>     "Overcoming  Barriers:  Access to Research Information Content"
>     http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/using-and-accessing-information-resources/overcoming-barriers-access-research-information
> goes to some  lengths to show that the access problem is not "small."  
> Some excerpts:  
> Of the 800 respondents, over 40% said that they were 
> unable readily to access licensed content at least weekly; and 
> two-thirds at least monthly.  The key reasons for failing to 
> secure access were perceived to be [...] that the library had not 
> purchased a licence for the content, because of budgetary 
> constraints (56%).  Around 59 per cent of respondents thought 
> that non-availability of content does have some impact on their 
> research, while 18 per cent say the impact is 'significant' 
> either in terms of timing and/or comprehensiveness and/or other 
> quality impact. 

And let's not forget the Open Access Impact Advantage: If journal affordability constraints are a *direct* indicator of the fact that the access problem is not small but large, the fact that in every field OA enhances both citation and download impact are *indirect* indicators of that same fact (apart from being a benefit in its own right):

Hitchcock, S. "The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies" http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.htm

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