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Open Access: What You Need to Know Now (ALA Editions: Special Reports) Paperback – March 21, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0838911068 ISBN-10: 0838911064

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Open Access: What You Need to Know Now (ALA Editions: Special Reports) + Open Access (MIT Press Essential Knowledge)
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Product Details

  • Series: ALA Editions: Special Reports
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Amer Library Assn Editions (March 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838911064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838911068
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,284,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Walt Crawford has done something difficult and useful. He's written a short, accurate, independent introduction to open access. I recommend it to researchers and libraries everywhere, and hope it corrects misunderstandings that have held back this good idea for years. --Peter Suber, Faculty Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University and Senior Researcher, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

"A first-rate introduction to OA. It should be required reading for all librarians so that they become familiar with the OA movement and can provide to anyone not just scholars widespread and unrestricted access to OA scholarly literature. With his insightful summary of this widening and complex field, Crawford offers a resource that will help readers gain a better understanding of what OA is and provide details regarding the issues and controversies surrounding the OA movement." --Internet Reference Services Quarterly

About the Author

Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media. Author of numerous books, articles, and columns, Crawford is also the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Three statements to get out of the way:
1. I've interacted with the author online for the last couple of years and have met him once or twice in person. This did not influence the review.
2. Unlike the other reviewer I actually DID read this publication before I reviewed it.
3. This publication is on Open Access publishing, which is different from Open Source (the other reviewer seems to confuse the two terms.)

With that out of the way...

I came into reading this publication knowing only the bare basics about Open Access publishing and if pressed into arguing why it was a good thing I could come up with a few good reasons. This publication will make arguing for it a heck of a lot easier. Walt starts the book off with the obvious question, why you should care about open access publishing. He breaks it down into simple terms of why it matters to not only the academic librarian, but the public librarian as well. Walt openly confronts some of the issues, challenges, and misconceptions about open access publishing and lays out what the reality is, such as that open access will undermine the peer review process. He is open and honest about what are legitimate arguments/concerns about open access publishing and what are complete fallacies. And with the legitimate arguments/concerns Walt is not afraid to admit that the arguments maybe valid.

The one thing that bothered me a bit about the publication were at the points where Academic Institutional Repositories were mentioned. Not because they aren't relevant to the discussion of Open Access, but more because their placement felt a bit out of place in the discussion for this publication.
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Format: Paperback
The Book titled "Open Access: What You Need to Know Now" by Walt Crawford helps us understanding principles and future of open access publishing. The case studies discussed in this book portray different models and channels of open access to knowledge. This book mostly narrates viewpoints of the American Library Association and its member institutions.
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4 of 28 people found the following review helpful By comic_sans on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I will not pay 36 bucks for a digital copy of a white paper.

For this reason, I can only assume that the conclusion this report draws is that Open Source is bad, and the ALA will never support it. Otherwise, the price of this thin white paper-- especially the Kindle edition-- is just a demonstration that the ALA lacks a sense of irony.

There are pluses and minuses to open source scholarly publishing, to be sure. We haven't figured out the best model yet. But that said, if there was EVER an opportunity for an organization to dip their toes in and experiment with open source publishing, this would be one.

Releasing this report in a traditional copyright format, and charging a ridiculous amount for it, just goes to show the biggest obstacle to open source publishing-- how beholden the entire structure of the academy is to the old publishing model.

The ALA has done a lot in the last several years to push for more open access, more freely available content. The mission of libraries is to give the opportunity to the greatest number of people to have access to the greatest amount of information. They've been good at seeing that and pursuing goals that reflect this.

This particular publication, however, strikes me as notably tone-deaf. Without having ever read it.
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