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Online public debate about research is thriving, but we need to stay alert to the dangers of simplification

Summarising a recent session on new trends in disseminating economics research, Diane Coyle looks at how researchers are influencing policy. The landscape of public debate has changed enormously, and blogs in particular have come to play a highly influential role. But responsibility must be taken for how public debate influences policy decision-making. It is intrinsically hard to demonstrate 'impact' on outcomes, and economists and other social scientists need to stay alert to the danger of simplification.
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Economics of Scholarly Communication in Transition

Academic library budgets are the primary source of revenue for scholarly journal publishing. There is more than enough money in the budgets of academic libraries to fund a fully open access scholarly journal publishing system. Seeking efficiencies, such as a reasonable average cost per article, will be key to a successful transition. This article presents macro level economic data and analysis illustrating the key factors and potential for cost savings.
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Publishing in Discipline-Specific Open Access Journals: Opportunities and Outreach for Librarians

Open access (OA) journals promote the opportunity for peer-reviewed journal articles to be freely accessible. In recent years, the number of OA journals has exploded in all disciplines. Previous studies have identified print-based pedagogical discipline-specific journals outside the field of Library and Information Science (LIS) for librarians to consider as vehicles for publishing articles related to subject-based Information Literacy (IL). The present study explores the presence of discipline-specific pedagogical journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and presents a table of OA journals with their acceptance rates and review times. Pedagogical OA journals are highlighted as a potential opportunity for librarians to pro-actively reach out to faculty within a discipline and contribute towards the OA movement.
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Publishers Have A New Strategy For Neutralizing Open Access -- And It's Working

Over the last few years, Techdirt has been reporting on a steady stream of victories for open access. Along the way publishers have tried various counter-attacks, which all proved dismal failures. But there are signs that they have changed tack, and have come up with a more subtle and increasingly successful approach. An analysis by Mike Taylor of what he calls "The progressive erosion of the RCUK open access policy" has been given. The distinction between "Gold" open access, which takes place through journals, and "Green" open access, which uses online repositories is a crucial issue. The publishers' new strategy against open access is not to fight it directly, but to use constant lobbying to inflict a kind of death by a thousand cuts.
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The State of Large-Publisher Bundles in 2012

For well over a decade, research libraries have been spending millions of dollars per year licensing collections of journals published by just a handful of publishers. Ten years ago ARL surveyed its membership about their licensed collections of journal titles. In 2002, ARL asked for information regarding members' expenditures for 60 journal publishers, ultimately reporting findings for the 7 most commonly subscribed publishers. In 2003, a second survey added further information about some licensing terms. ARL surveyed its members again in 2005 about their 2006 licenses with the 6 largest publishers at that time. Early in the summer of 2012, ARL again surveyed its member libraries about their subscriptions to journal collections from large publishers. The data collected in this most recent survey show that a great deal has changed in the last decade, and yet several issues remain concerns within the library community.Pricing models and license terms, consortial arrangements, and the conversion from print to electronic subscriptions remain issues across the surveys.
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