Open Access and Libraries: Now available as print & ebook

Open Access and Libraries, front cover

I’m pleased to announce that Open Access and Libraries: Essays from Cites & Insights, 2001-2009 is now available via Lulu.

The 519-page book is available as a free PDF download or as a 6×9 trade paperback for $17.50. (If you’re wondering, I get $2.10 of that $17.50. For every three print copies published, I can buy lunch…)

I’d like to think that the cover treatment is obvious for anyone who knows much about OA. I could be wrong.

Why this book?

In short:

  • I’ve stopped writing about open access within Cites & Insights for a number of reasons.
  • When I asked a couple of knowledgeable people–specifically Peter Suber–whether a collection of those essays might have some minimal value, the answer was Yes.

From the time I made the draft PDF and some different trial ePub versions available (through April 26, for reasons that aren’t relevant here), the PDF has been downloaded 123 times and the epub versions have been viewed/downloaded anywhere from 71 to 290 times each. So, even with lots of ebook-oriented folks looking at those versions just for fun, I conclude that a few dozen people find enough value in this to download it.

In long–here’s the introduction to the book:

This book brings together articles (and, in a few cases, sections of articles) on open access and other aspects of library access to scholarship that appeared in Cites & Insights (citesandinsights.info/).

Articles appear exactly as they did in the original journal, modified only to fit the book’s page size and typography. No updates or corrections have been made (except for one or two typographical errors. Articles appear in strict chronological order. There is no additional commentary.

This book appears only for the record. It is not a comprehensive overview of OA during the first decade of the new millennium, and it is not even a comprehensive view of what Walt Crawford thinks about OA. It is what it is: A record of what I published about OA during that decade, quite possibly omitting some short pieces.

The first C&I article related to OA, before that name was well established in the field, appeared in May 2001. (At the time, the term was FOS—Free Online Scholarship.) The last, as I was concluding that I was no longer able to value to OA-related discussions, appeared in November 2009. Quite a few appeared during those nine years. I’ve also included one “disContent” column from EContent that’s directly on topic (that column appears as submitted, not necessarily exactly as published).

It’s possible, even likely, that some OA-related commentary within Cites & Insights doesn’t appear here—for example, predictions from Peter Suber and others would have appeared in larger Trends & Quick Takes articles, not picked up for this compilation.

Thanks to Peter Suber for agreeing that this might be a worthwhile compilation.

But There’s No Index!

For which I apologize. I had planned to include a partial index—including people, journals, article titles, but probably not topics—using Word’s indexing facilities.

It was not to be. Perhaps it’s the sheer length of this book; perhaps it’s the number of sections. Maybe there’s some obscure bug in Word2007.

Whatever the case, whenever I go beyond the first 60 pages or so, using “Mark All” and “Mark” as appropriate to flag index points (hey, Peter Suber’s name appears a few dozen times!), then save the result, then open that result…well, the result is chaos. Last time, the 519-page book suddenly turned into 1,290 pages, with multiple lines of headers from various chapters making up a huge and unchangeable page footer on each page.

If this was a project expected to yield significant income, I might prepare a separate index document—but for a book this long, that would take scores of hours. I honestly can’t justify the time for a book that’s being given away in electronic form and sold for barely more than the cost of production in print form.

If this book is useful, maybe some reader will generate an index. If not, well, again, my apologies.

Actually, I have a pretty good idea what was causing the autoindex blowups (it was a bug, but between my ears more than within the software)–but the fix would make indexing more effort than I could justify. (It has to do with indexed terms appearing within page headings…)

What’s Here?

Here’s the table of contents–noting that articles appear in strictly chronological order.

Introduction. 1

Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm.. 3

Scholarly Journals and Grand Solutions. 23

The Access Puzzle: Notes on Scholarly Communication. 34

The Access Puzzle (January 2003) 50

Scholarly Article Access (Formerly The Access Puzzle) 58

Open-Access Journals. 64

Sabo, SOAF, SOAN and More. 70

Getting That Article: Good News. 89

Scholarly Article Access (November 2003) 92

Scholarly Article Access (January 2004) 102

Tipping Point for the Big Deal?. 113

Library Access to Scholarship. 121

Library Access to Scholarship (June 2004) 131

The Empire Strikes Back. 140

Library Access to Scholarship (September 2004) 167

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2004) 193

Library Access to Scholarship (January 2005) 210

Library Access to Scholarship (March 2005) 221

Library Access to Scholarship (June 2005) 233

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2005) 248

Library Access to Scholarship (May 2006) 261

Thinking About Libraries and Access. 279

Pioneer OA Journals: The Arc of Enthusiasm, Five Years Later 285

Pioneer OA Journals: Preliminary Additions from DOAJ 296

Library Access to Scholarship (December 2006) 313

Open Access and Rhetorical Excess. 334

Library Access to Scholarship (July 2007) 355

PRISM: Enough Rope?. 366

Harvard & Institutional Repositories. 382

Signs Along the Way. 399

OA Controversies. 408

The Death of Journals (Film at 11) 430

Library Access to Scholarship (November 2009) 443

Closing Notes

It’s a 6×9 trade paperback because single-column serif text set on a 4″ line is just about optimal for reading long text…there’s a reason most text-oriented books (other than mass-market paperbacks, which squeeze every word possible onto each page) are 6×9 or thereabouts.

Yes, you can download the PDF and print it out, and maybe save a couple of bucks (if you can print 519 pages for less than $17.50). You won’t get the cover, and I’m afraid you’d be wasting a lot of paper on a typical 8.5×11″ printer–but it’s your choice. The paperback version is there as a convenience; I obviously don’t plan to get rich off $2.10 times an anticipated sale of one to ten print copies. Especially since I bought one copy for my own records–and that wipes out the profit on the first seven sales.

The typeface is Berkeley Oldstyle Book, which is still my preferred text face for books (and was the C&I typeface for several years).

Oh…about the ePub version:

  1. I never did find a truly satisfactory conversion that didn’t cost money.
  2. Lulu seems to have offed a lot of their FAQs in favor of articles that are harder to make my way through, and at this point I don’t quite understand how I’d attach an ePub version to the project.

Therefore, until further notice, I’ll leave the most recent ePub version available from this post; just click on the link. Other versions will disappear as I get around to it.

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