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SCOAP3: a key library leadership opportunity in the transition to open access

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The SCOAP3 consortium aims to transition the whole of High Energy
Physics (HEP) publishing from a subscription to an open access basis.
SCOAP3 currently has commitments for more than 63% of the projected
10 million Euros per year budget, from partners in more than 21
including more than 50 libraries and consortia in the U.S. Full
participation from the U.S., a leader in HEP research, is both
essential and particularly challenging, as the U.S. does not have a
national coordinating body that can make one commitment for the
country, as many other countries do. While the work to undertake this
commitment for the library should not be underestimated - figuring
out subscription costs when journals are part of a big deal, often
through a consortium - neither should the benefits be underestimated.
In brief, the benefits are the optimum access that comes with open
access - full open access to the publisher's PDF for everyone,
everywhere; a model for transitioning to open access that involves no
financial risk, as commitments are capped at current subscriptions
expenditures, and SCOAP3 is addressing the issue of unbundling
successful journals from big deals and reducing costs accordingly;
future financial benefits as a transparent, production-based pricing
model for scholarly communication introduces competition into a
market where it has been lacking; gaining publisher acceptance of
library advocacy efforts for open access by addressing a key concern
of publishers (financing the journals in an open access environment)
and perhaps most importantly, establishing a leadership role for
libraries in a future for scholarly communication that will be
largely open access.

As Douglas (2009) explains, "To move forward in achieving open
access, U.S. libraries that subscribe to any of the five journals
that are considered 100 percent convertible to SCOAP3 (European
Physical Journal C, Journal of High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics
B, Physical
Review D, and Physics Letters B) need to participate". If this
describes your library, please go to the SCOAP3 website, now, to
learn more and participate in this innovative global collaboration
that can be a model, not only for transitioning to open access, but
also for how humankind can
work cooperatively across borders to accomplish a great good that
will benefit all of us.
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