[Oa-italia] [Fwd: arXiv in Chronicle of Higher Education]

maria.cassella a unito.it maria.cassella a unito.it
Ven 22 Gen 2010 09:36:51 CET

La crisi colpisce anche la Cornell University. Non Ŕ una
gran bella notizia, in veritÓ, quella che vi giro. Ma nel
digitale la collaborazione Ŕ vitale e la crisi accentua la
necessitÓ di collaborare.
Saluti alla lista e bravi a chi si Ŕ registrato in ROARMAP
e a chi ha segnalato la notizia.

------------------ Messaggio originale -------------------
Oggetto: arXiv in Chronicle of Higher Education
Da:      "Okerson, Ann" <ann.okerson a yale.edu>
Data:    Ven, 22 Gennaio 2010, 1:51 am
A:       "liblicense-l a lists.yale.edu"
<liblicense-l a lists.yale.edu>

January 21, 2010, 11:00 AM ET

Cornell Library Proposes New Model to Keep arXiv Going

By Jennifer Howard

Cornell University Library announced today that it wants
the top
institutional users of arXiv.org to help pay for the online
scientific repository. 'Keeping an open-access resource like
arXiv sustainable means not only covering its costs, but also
continuing to enhance its value, and that kind of financial
commitment is beyond a single institution's resources,' Oya
Rieger, Cornell's associate university librarian for
technologies, said in a statement describing the new

The experiment is shaping up to be a test of how well
institutions can band together to support critical scholarly
resources. For scientists in physics, mathematics,
biology, statistics, computer science, and related fields,
has become an indispensible clearinghouse for the latest
research. The brainchild of a physics professor, Paul
the repository holds nearly 600,000 e-prints of research
articles, many of which appear there before they make
their way
through the formal journal-publishing process.

It costs Cornell about $400,000 a year to maintain arXiv,
according to Anne R. Kenney, university librarian at
Cornell. The  library's annual budget runs in the $40- to
$50-million range.
Some 200 institutions account for about 75 percent of the
download traffic on arXiv, and it's that group that
Cornell hopes  will pony up first. The suggested
contribution for the heaviest
users is $4,000. Ms. Kenney says that most of the top 25 have
said they will participate.

Calling arXiv 'a lifeline' for areas of the world with
access to scholarly publishing resources, Ms. Kenney
that arXiv will continue to be open access. Individual
users will  not be charged to submit or to review its

One major user of arXiv's resources is the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. Ann J. Wolpert, director of
there, confirmed that MIT will answer the call for money,
though it comes at time when resources are tight. 'It's
just not
reasonable to think that one institution could carry that
in perpetuity,' she said. 'The way Cornell has been
this is eminently sensible and fair.'

Ms. Kenney emphasized that the call for contibutions is a
short-term fix that will buy time to look into longer-term
solutions. 'It opens the door to seeing something like
arXiv as
being a public good worthy of support beyond one
she said. That could lead to federal money or -- perhaps the
best-case scenario -- an endowment.

MIT's Ms. Wolpert also sees the arXiv pitch as a harbinger of
things to come. 'The call for support comes at a time when
all looking for ways to sustain those shared resources
that have
become so critical to the academy these days,' she said.
'I think  the library is looking to work with faculty in
these key
disciplines in our institutions for a longer-term, more
sustainable, more integrated solution to the way scholars

One critical concern for libraries is how to avoid paying
for the  same content in multiple versions. Could
repositories like arXiv
replace journals altogether? That's a delicate question to
to a librarian.

Ms. Kenney said that one of arXiv's strengths has been how
it has coexisted with more-traditional publishing. 'I
don't know
what the future holds,' she said. 'There has been a
critical role  that formal publishing provides in terms of
the vetting of
materials. I can tell you that it has been gratifying to
have a
pretty healthy relationship between arXiv and the formal
scholarly literature.'

Ms. Wolpert cautioned against taking a narrow, either-or
view of
publishing options in the Internet age. Research moves
along a
publishing continuum 'that is now managed in separate
pieces, but  that we hope with some thought and care and
leadership from
faculties and [scholarly] societies and libraries will
become a
more integrated system,' she said. It will be worth
watching to
see how much closer the arXiv experiment gets us to such a

Copyright 2010 The Chronicle of Higher Education


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