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The Journal of Library Administration – Not Open Enough – Editorial Board Resigns

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The publishers, who decide to issue journals or books in OA model, among other things, need to balance the level of openness and closure for their titles. Sometimes this goal is not easy to achieve. The case of the Journal of Library Administration perfectly illustrates this situation.

The Editorial Board of the Journal of Library Administration resigned recently from running JLA. The reason of this decision was the rather strict policy of Taylor&Francis on licenses. According to the Board, licensing terms of Taylor & Francis were too confusing and too restrictive; they were just not open enough. The result was, the Board found it increasingly hard to attract quality content to the journal. Taylor & Francis was ready to reduce the stringency of license policy but that would cost authors nearly $3000 per article ( in APCs). This has tipped the balance and the Board as a result  the Board stepped down.

It is hard to figure out if it was the lack of Creative Commons option for authors that forced the board to resign; so far there hasn’t been any official statement from the publisher, so what exactly happened, is anyone’s guess. Definitely, there is an interesting angle to this situation.

First of all, the level of openness of a journal has become an important factor for authors while choosing the appropriate title for their articles. The absence of  an open license model can discourage the authors from choosing a given publication outlet. This case shows, that authors require from OA publishers a far-reaching openness. Secondly, the decision of Board shows that Open Access, (strange as it sounds), becomes more and more open, as years go by. The awareness of possible benefits and flaws of this model is on the rise, and so is as the impact of scientific community on process of dissemination of Open Access.

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