Watching with interest

as the University of California takes on the Nature Publishing Group.  Beleaguered libraries take on super-profitable publishing giants, story ongoing.

UC internal communication about the proposed NPG deal

NPG response

UC’s response to NPG’s response. (.pdf)

My favorite bits from UC’s last response:

We find this to be an implausible explanation given the remarkably large sums of money others and we already pay to NPG every year. The notion that other institutions are subsidizing ‘our discount’ is nonsensical. If anything, other institutions are simply paying too much.

[…]

In summary, the CDL, UCOLASC, and UC Libraries categorically reject the notion that we have resorted to misinformation or distortion of any sort, as well as any suggestion that we sought to engender premature publicity.  We included accurate information, not misinformation, in an internal communication intended for our Faculty.  As the UC Libraries contemplate budget reductions of 20% or more over the next two years on top of reductions already taken in 2010, we are faced with difficult choices and seek publisher partners who are willing to work with us over the long-term.  That being said, we want to emphasize that the UC letter represents the deliberations of many Faculty committees and librarians across the UC System who unanimously felt that UC needed to take a stand on this issue as a matter of principle and not merely as a budgetary consideration.  Plainly put, UC Faculty do not think that their libraries should have to pay exorbitant and unreasonable fees to get access to their own work.

Go get ’em.  Librarians everywhere are applauding you. To quote from a FriendFeed discussion, “Gauntlet. Thrown.”

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