Pull quote: “Referencing should connect readers as far as possible to open access sources, and scholars should in all cases and in every possible way treat the open access versions of texts as the primary source. Versions of the text that depend upon paid access (buying the book, or subscribing to the journal) should be relegated to the status of secondary sources, supplementary information for status-conscious academics (or their promotion committees), but not forming part of the core information about a text.”

Pull quote: “Dear [Name]: Thank you for sending the publishing agreement for Johns Hopkins University Press and portal. I’m very pleased to see that I will retain the right to post a copy of the article on my personal or institutional repository or online site. Retaining the copyright to my professional work is also important to me, so I’m wondering if there is an alternate agreement, or if the current agreement can be altered, so that I retain the copyright but the Press still has the ability to do what it needs to do with the content. If not, the current agreement is fine and I will happily sign, [etc.]. But if an alternate agreement is possible, I would prefer to pursue that option. Sincerely, etc.”

Pull quote: “To me, this case is an object lesson in why scholarship should not be treated as a commodity around which commercial value, and the disputes that accompany such value, accrues. The radical distinction between the “gift economy” in which individual scholars work, giving away their most precious intellectual assets to publishers without remuneration for the sake of the scholarly mission, and the commercial economy in which publishers work, and to which some societies aspire, was never more clear. Whoever wins this case, the scholars who donate their labor as authors, editors and reviewers for this journal will be the long-term losers. And the only way to change that situation is to radically rethink they way scholarship is supported and disseminated. We need new business models, focused on open access and better ways to support the scholarly mission, while all this dispute offers us is a fight over the way the same old traditional pie of subscription money is sliced.”

Pull quote: “Since we can’t have such certainty in debates about publishing, perhaps a political analogy would work better. Just because the French Revolution radicalized and turned violent doesn’t mean the Ancien Regime was worth preserving.”

Pull quote: “But given our philosophical embrace of open access, our general professional stance that information should be freely accessible whenever possible, and our facility with the tools and procedures of journal publishing, shouldn’t a massive open access library and information science publishing platform along the lines of PLoS be something of a no-brainer?”

Pull quote: “Aaron Swartz’s politics of ‘open’ were a politics. ‘Open’ wasn’t simply an adjective plugged into a press release, attached to a startup pitch, embedded in a tech blog headline. Aaron Swartz’s politics of ‘open’ were enmeshed with a challenge to intellectual property law; they offered a challenge to the economics of restricted access to scholarship; they were intertwined with the technologies of the open Web – and those technologies, let’s not forget, are political as well.”

Pull quote: “The Finch report tore the OA community asunder. Where previously it had seemed that gold and green might coexist and one could be friendly with both, suddenly the camps became like the true fans of the Crimson Tide versus the Auburn Tigers. Allegiance must be paid. Professor Harnad leads the charge, castigating “Fools Gold” and hollering even more shrilly for mandates, mandates, mandates which are easy to implement and which the researchers desperately want in order to alleviate their fears and make those deposits that they are so eager to do. It is inevitable and it is almost here.”

Pull quote: “The AAUP focuses, in my opinion, on only a part of the problem, and the lesser part of it at that. They are concerned to protect authors from claims over their work by the universities that employ them, which is a real but infrequent threat. In the process, however, they ignore the much greater threat posed to academic freedom by the commercial interests that routinely are the recipients of uncompensated copyright transfers. If the AAUP is really serious about a discussion of copyright ownership and its relationship to academic freedom, they need to be willing to discuss this ‘third rail’ of that conversation, this practice of giving copyright away. In short, open access, or, more accurately, leaving the decision about access in the hands of faculty authors, is not an optional part of the discussion.”

Pull quote: “In an era when libraries acquired materials important to their communities, negotiating rights and paying for access was not a major hindrance to conversation. But as libraries become merely bill payers and publishers the owners and curators of knowledge, we’ve seen the value of public knowledge retreat in the face of private property and individual productivity.”

Pull quote: “Disembargo is an open access dissertation (my own), emerging from a self-imposed six-year embargo, one letter at a time. Every ten minutes Disembargo releases a single character—a letter, number, or space—from my final dissertation manuscript. This character is published under a Creative Commons license, and it joins the previously released characters of my dissertation.”

Pull quote: “One of the most disturbing things about the original announcement is Wiley’s reference to “publishers’ IP.” Wiley, of course, created almost none of the content they sell; they own that IP only because it has been transferred to them. If we could put an end to that uneven and unnecessary giveaway, this constant game of paying more for less would have to stop.”

Pull quote: “It sure would be nice if we actually were preparing students with skills and habits that served them after graduation rather than teaching them arcane processes before we usher them through the gates of our walled gardens, waving cheering before we lock the doors behind them.”

Pull quote: “To me, it’s just more indication of the broken nature of our current academic system, in just about all disciplines. The academic promotion system theoretically encourages scholars to share their work with the public — promotion is in theory based on publishing, the act of sharing your work with the public. But in fact, the current system discourages scholars from sharing their work with the public, from maximizing public exposure to their work, in different ways in different disciplines, but across most of them.”

Pull quote: “There’s something weirdly helpless in this statement. Books are what matters to historians and that will never change. Publishers are an immutable force of nature, as are tenure and promotion committees. Librarians and program heads, however, can be told what to do. If they don’t change their ways “young historians” will lose the “unfettered ability … to revise their dissertations and obtain a publishing contract from a press” because those pesky online dissertations are standing between a scholar and a fetter-free book contract.”

Pull quote: “For many small academic presses, I think, the days of the purely academic monograph that will be read only be specialists are largely over, and they are over because of economic realities (like shrinking library budgets for books) that are independent of the movement toward ETDs. It is this much more general set of conditions that spells bad news for revised dissertations.”