Presentation Title

Open Access and the Logic of Collective Action

Presenter Information

John Wenzler, CSUEBFollow

Location

King Library 219

Start Date

23-10-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

23-10-2015 2:30 PM

Description

In the digital age, academic libraries confront the dilemma of collective action. In the era of print, each library stored, organized and provided access to a collection of scholarly resources for researchers at a local institution. On an integrated electronic network, all of these tasks become shared endeavors. One copy of a journal article housed on an Internet server provides faster and more convenient access to the scholarly community than 1,000 printed copies scattered across the country. Thus, the work of maintaining the article and making it discoverable can be done by one organization for the entire community instead of being distributed to thousands of libraries to be done for their local scholars.

This presentation will summarize economic theories -- specifically Mancur Olson’s Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups – that argue that collective action problems are extremely hard to solve in a way that achieves the best result for the group as a whole. Academic Libraries have attempted to solve the problem of collectively maintaining the record of digital scholarship through the Open Access Movement, but I will argue that Open Access may not be the most effective response. Perhaps, we need to try different approaches informed by the economics of collective action in addition to or as an alternative to Open Access.

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Oct 23rd, 2:00 PM Oct 23rd, 2:30 PM

Open Access and the Logic of Collective Action

King Library 219

In the digital age, academic libraries confront the dilemma of collective action. In the era of print, each library stored, organized and provided access to a collection of scholarly resources for researchers at a local institution. On an integrated electronic network, all of these tasks become shared endeavors. One copy of a journal article housed on an Internet server provides faster and more convenient access to the scholarly community than 1,000 printed copies scattered across the country. Thus, the work of maintaining the article and making it discoverable can be done by one organization for the entire community instead of being distributed to thousands of libraries to be done for their local scholars.

This presentation will summarize economic theories -- specifically Mancur Olson’s Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups – that argue that collective action problems are extremely hard to solve in a way that achieves the best result for the group as a whole. Academic Libraries have attempted to solve the problem of collectively maintaining the record of digital scholarship through the Open Access Movement, but I will argue that Open Access may not be the most effective response. Perhaps, we need to try different approaches informed by the economics of collective action in addition to or as an alternative to Open Access.