Ellen Finnie has shared some exciting news coming out of MIT libraries: their collections budget is now under their scholarly communications program. This will potentially give collections librarians the flexibility to significantly shift the way they strategize and negotiate purchasing decisions. The “vote with your money” approach is perhaps one of the best options we have when it comes to changing the scholarly publishing landscape in favor of a more open, affordable, and “healthier” system.
It also opens up opportunities for having tough but nonetheless important conversations with faculty who insist they need journal x for their research but who may not realize the full implications of publisher x’s licensing terms. It’s high time, in my opinion, the we (librarians and academic) take back the responsibility for stewarding scholarly information to create a system that better reflects our values and aims.