Stretching irony

You’re writing a guide to local trails. Those trails are free. Your guide must therefore be free. Right?

You’re doing (unfunded) research on the nature of contemporary radio. Radio is free to the listener. Therefore, you won’t charge anybody for the book based on your research. Right?

I could provide many more such absurd, well, let’s call them sillygisms, since to call them syllogisms would be silly.

But then there’s:

You’re writing a guide to/doing unfunded research on/publishing about open access. Therefore, it’s ironic if you charge for it.


Yep, here it comes again, just as it did in the first review when ALA Editions published Open Access: What You Need to Know Now (which was my writing, not an ALA official proceedings). This time, it’s the Library Technology Reports issue, which is apparently finally out. And an almost immediate tweet calling it ironic that the OA-related report requires a subscription.

(In fact, unless I’m mistaken, the first chapter–which includes the key facts–is free online; the key facts were in my freely-available American Libraries excerpt; and the spreadsheet used for the report is freely available. But never mind.)

And here I am plugging away on a much broader report…which, to date, I can only be sure four people will ever see. Because, you know, I’m going to charge for it. Not enough to make, say, minimum wage for the time involved, but I’m going to charge for it. And no, it’s not ironic. (Somebody’s paying for pretty much every OA journal, by the way…)

It does get tiresome at times.

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