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The Chronicle of Higher Education has a great article on the role librarians are playing to help researchers find their way through the maze of copyright law:

 Where can researchers find a guide to lead them through this 21st-century obstacle course?

The library, of course.

More institutions are creating or beefing up offices and programs in scholarly communication or hiring librarians with expertise in copyright and intellectual property. 

The variety of roles librarians are playing is quite remarkable. At Brown, that includes making sure that authors are aware of their various publication options and the associated costs:

Before he has that conversation [the cost of various publication options] with authors, Mr. Stern does the math. “We recommend that they select the highest-quality journal with the largest distribution, which is what they want,” he says. But some journals charge higher authors’ fees or have pricier subscription models than the university feels it can pay for. For instance, Mr. Stern ran the numbers and concluded that the library should not subsidize the Public Library of Science, an open-access science-publishing project that sustains its journals by charging authors (or their employers) $1,300 per article; it offers institutional memberships that reduce those fees. “We strongly support the idea of open access,” Mr. Stern says. “We just have a problem with that particular business model.”

Recommended reading!

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