So leads us to the remarkable story of Imperial College’s self-effacing head librarian, pitted in a battle of nerves against the publisher of titles like the Lancet. She is leading Research Libraries UK (RLUK), which represents the libraries of Russell Group universities, in a public campaign to pressure big publishers to end up-front payments, to allow them to pay in sterling and to reduce their subscription fees by 15%. The stakes are high, library staff and services are at risk and if an agreement or an alternative delivery plan is not in place by January 2nd next year, researchers at Imperial and elsewhere will lose access to thousands of journals. But Deborah Shorley is determined to take it to the edge if necessary: “I will not blink.”
The article is here. Part of what’s at stake is the so called “Big Deal” in which Elsevier bundles all of its academic journals and refuses to sell subscriptions to individual journals (or sells them only at exorbitant prices.) Edlin and Rubinfeld is a good overview of the law and economics of the Big Deals.
Boater Bow: Not Exactly Rocket Science.