De-fund College Libraries
By Arnold Kling
This is disappointing on a number of fronts. First, BE Press never informed us. They did send out a letter to paying subscribers but not to authors or to people who serve on their editorial boards; both of whom happen to describe me. So I found out because the links to BE Press journals on my website were now broken too (I’ve since repaired them to provide access again). So much for the great lasting value of online journals — the ability to preserve links.
He is reporting on an electronic journal that sold to a traditional publisher, so that the online version essentially got priced out of existence.
I think that the main problem here is that journals are funded by subscriptions from college libraries. If college libraries were de-funded, the journals would have to find revenue models that are consistent with 21st-century technology and economics.
Take away the money that now goes to college library journal subscription fees. Instead, use those funds to create an online repository of published academic work. I’ll bet that the result would provide better access to research at less total cost.