ACRL has announced that content from College & Research Libraries will be made freely available on the ACRL Web site six months after publication, and that back issues from 1997 – are already available.
This is welcome news to those of us who have been calling for ACRL to provide leadership in this area for the past few years. I have to believe that our message to faculty about the need to commit to open access alternatives for Tier One scholarly journals can only be made more effective by being able to demonstrate that our own professional association has made that same commitment in regard to our most highly-regarded, peer-reviewed journal. It would be nice to see other leading LIS journals make this same commitment, but it was absolutely imperative that ACRL do so, and I’m excited to see that it has finally happened.
I’m also happy to see that the announcement clearly articulates ACRL support for author self-archiving of material published in C&RL. I had to do some digging myself earlier this year to determine ACRL policy on this issue as I was preparing to place a paper that I presented at the ACRL meeting in Minneapolis into our institutional repository (KU ScholarWorks). Lots of good news in this announcement!
5 thoughts on “Open Access Comes to C&RL”
” It would be nice to see other leading LIS journals make this same commitment”
Some professional associations have been providing leadership on this for years–JMLA (Journal of the Medical Library Association) provides full text for the entire run through PubMed Central, and I believe was one of the original PMC journals.
Yes, and that’s the only one I could think of. For all the hoopla about open access, librarians have certainly drug their feet in making their own publications available.
ACRL’s policy change is certainly welcome news, and I heartily applaud it. However, it shouldn’t be confused with open access. C&RL is now what I term an "embargoed access journal" (see "The Spectrum of E-Journal Access Policies: Open to Restricted Access").
So many colors Charles! When you get a chance I’m curious — what about a journal is “red” except that it is included in a free database like FindArticles.com? E.g. Library Trends in FindArticles.com?
In any case, I’m pleased that C&RL is “open access” even if it isn’t “OPEN ACCESS” by some definitions. Bravo to ACRL. I hope other ALA divisions can be convinced to do the same. And – I hope someone at ACRL is looking at what happens with subscriptions over time to see what business model is sustainable and shares that with other organizations. I personally think there are some very real differences in what is sustainable for a “with membership” publication and those that are strict “subscription to journal” publications but I don’t have the empirical studies to back that up.
Interesting question. I’m inclined to base the classification on the journal publisher’s access policy, not third-party arrangements, unless it is clear from the publisher’s Website that free access is available elsewhere. So, I’d code it red.