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University Presses Offer Soft Focus on Open Access Issue

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) released a statement last week outlining its perspective on the controversial issue of free or "open" access to scholarly literature, including scientific, technical, and medical (STM) journal articles.

The association said with the statement it hopes to "steer the debate towards productive solutions that will best serve the entire scholarly community." AAUP said it believes that "the conversation should expand to address the different creation and distribution needs of scholarly literature in all fields and formats, including monographs, and to consider a variety of models for providing open access--all of which entail risks and benefits to the entire system of scholarly communications that are not yet fully understood."

The group said that "while proud of their past achievements, university presses and scholarly societies have never been averse to change. Being embedded in the culture of higher education that values experimentation and advances in knowledge, presses have been open to new ways of facilitating scholarly communications." AAUP said its "members have begun experimenting with varieties of open access that seek to balance the mission of scholarly exchange with its costs."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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