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My lab:

Given the current three infrastructure crises in science, the readily available funds for mitigating these crises currently draining into the pockets of corporate CEOs and their shareholders, and that all the know-how required for such mitigation already is present in libraries, I have repeatedly suggested that libraries are a rational place to sustainably archive and make accessible the three intellectual products of scholarly work today: software, data and publications. Slowly, others are chiming in and even the first peer-reviewed publications appear, suggesting the same solution to these pressing problems.

So you can imagine my excitement, when I learned during a meeting with the head of the library and the responsible technical employee at my new institution in Regensburg, that they already are publishing open access journals! If I wanted to start my own, I could do that right away, they told me. But that was not enough: they also offered me to long-term archive and host our software in a GitHub-like repository and make sure it becomes and remains findable and accessible with a stable URL. They also offered to host Linux repositories of the portion of our software that runs on Linux such that new versions get automatically pushed to all users. On top of all that, they already store data repositories for all the faculty at the university asking for this service, solving all three infrastructure crises from which science is suffering world-wide.

In other words, if all libraries would offer the same services our library here is offering their faculty, universal, sustainable open access to scholarly publications, software and data would already be a reality, with estimated savings (not costs!) of at least around US$5 billion every single year, world-wide. Serials crisis - gone. Data crisis - gone. Software crisis - gone. We'd have the modern scholarly communication system everyone wants but nobody knows how to get there. So, libraries, what are you waiting for? Don't you want to save close to 40% of your subscription budgets?
Posted on Wednesday 09 January 2013 - 15:06:15 comment: 0

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