Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
ISSN 1534-0937
Libraries · Policy · Technology · Media

Selection from Cites & Insights 11, Number 3: March 2011

Bibs & Blather

Open Access: What You Need to Know Now

I am delighted to announce that Open Access: What You Need to Know Now is now available for preorder from the ALA Editions website at

It’s an 80-page 8.5x11" Special Report and costs $45; it should also be available through library book jobbers. Here’s what the order page says:

Academic libraries routinely struggle to afford access to expensive journals, and patrons may not be able to obtain every scholarly paper they need. Is Open Access (OA) the answer? In this ALA Editions Special Report, Crawford helps readers understand what OA is (and isn’t), as he concisely

·         Analyzes the factors that have brought us to the current state of breakdown, including the skyrocketing costs of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) journals; consolidation of publishers and diminishing price competition; and shrinking library budgets

·         Summarizes the benefits and drawbacks of different OA models, such as “Green,” “Gold,” Gratis,” “Libre,” and various hybrid forms

·         Discusses ways to retain peer-review, and methods for managing OA in the library, including making OA scholarly publishing available to the general public

Addressing the subject from the library perspective while taking a realistic view of corporate interests, Crawford presents a coherent review of what Open Access is today and what it may become.

I believe this book fills a need—not only in the library community but beyond. I believe it’s useful for public and special libraries as well as for academic libraries and researchers. It’s a reasonably fast read but also provides a set of resources for further exploration.

Dorothea Salo, Peter Suber and Charles W. Bailey, Jr., all deserve credit for reading the draft version, offering honest suggestions and criticism and leading to a much better final version. Dorothea in particular was usefully frank, as I’d expect.

This is my first “traditional publisher” book in eight years. I don’t believe it will be my last.

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, Volume 11, Number 3, Whole # 138, ISSN 1534-0937, a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, is written and produced by Walt Crawford.

Comments should be sent to Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is copyright © 2011 by Walt Crawford: Some rights reserved.

All original material in this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. To view a copy of this license, visit by-nc/1.0 or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.