newscapsule_2The clash between the University of California and Reed Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of academic journals, can seem almost trivial. UC is paying almost $11 million this year for subscriptions to some 1,500 Elsevier journals, that is petty less when compared against the university’s core budget of $9.3 billion. The major issue separating the university and the publisher is the notion of “open access.” At its core, says Dennis Ventry, a UC Davis law professor who is vice chair of UC’s committee on library, open access means that “research should be immediately and freely available to the public upon publication, and not behind a paywall.”


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