Monday, March 24, 2014

American Chemical Society--open access to scientific research?

In the reading, "Should Historical Scholarship Be Free?", author Roy Rosenzweig cites an editor for the American Chemical Society saying, . I was curious to find out what's been said in more recent years about the ACS and if their stance on open access policies had changed any.

Here are two articles. The first is a statement released by ACS in 2013 about their new open access policies for 2014. While the statement's tone is positive, their open access initiative seems more like a compromise than an actual committment to open access ideals.

The second article was written in 2012 by a librarian who works for SUNY and made the difficult decision not to include a subscription to ACS in her collection budget. She describes the problem that her college library faced when they realized they couldn't keep up with the rising cost of an ACS subscription. She knew that it wouldn't be fair to meet the information needs of only chemistry students by spending an exorbitant amount of the budget on a single subscription, but she also wanted to be sure that the chemistry students' information needs could be met in a variety of other ways.

While what's right for one library might not be right for every library, but I think it's important to think critically about vendors' business ethics and whether or not they are in line with librarians'.

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