When Toll Access is Better than Open Access

Statistical Abstract of the United States (Print edition)

The last volume of the Statistical Abstract of the United States to be published by the federal government (my library's copy).

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a yearly publication that summarizes (abstracts) statistical information about the United States.

Published yearly since 1878, the Abstract was slated to cease publication, as the government announced that it would no longer publish the work. The 2012 issue is the last the federal government says it will publish.

The work aggregates data that is already available open-access on the Internet.

Recently, ProQuest announced that it would continue to publish the work, gathering the data eclectically.

Librarians hailed ProQuest’s announcement. One writer called ProQuest’s plan “admirable.”

An article at libraryjournal.com noted the reactions of some librarians. One wrote, “This is great news, especially the monthly updates. Way to go, Proquest!”

Bloggers echoed these positive reactions. Blogger Sue Polanka wrote, “I’m thrilled that ProQuest will continue aggregating this important content.”

Librarian Daniel Peterson exclaimed,” Happy news indeed! My beloved Statistical Abstract is being saved. Thank you, ProQuest!”

So, here we have librarians delighted at the prospect of paying for content that is available for free. With a couple tiny exceptions, all the statistical data that ProQuest will include in its version of the Statistical Abstract is available open-access.

ProQuest (and its partner Bernan Press) will add value to the data by aggregating it, keeping it updated, and publishing it.

Why are librarians praising a traditional publisher for coming out with a toll-access product whose content is already available for free?

3 Responses to When Toll Access is Better than Open Access

  1. open access says:

    Open Access is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the Internet to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

    Open Access is also increasingly being provided to theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters.

    Open Access comes in two degrees: Gratis Open Access is no-cost online access, while Libre Open Access is Gratis Open Access

    plus some additional usage rights.

    Open content is similar to Open Access, but usually includes the right to modify the work, where as in scholarly publishing it is

    usual to keep an article’s content intact and to associate it with a fixed author or fixed group of authors. Creative Commons

    licenses can be used to specify usage rights. The Open Access idea can also be extended to the learning objects and resources

    provided in e-learning.

    OMICS Group Inc. is one of the Open access publisher which provides journals in the form of Open Access.

    Thanks&Regards
    Vasu.P

  2. Matt Hodgkinson says:

    I expect the irony of OMICS Group leaving comment spam on this blog will not be lost on readers.

  3. Jamie Engert says:

    Isn’t the answer to the question “Why are librarians praising a traditional publisher for coming out with a toll-access product whose content is already available for free?”, the sentence just before it?

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