California, University of, Berkley

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  • Journal Prices and Scholarly Communication, memorandum to the Academic Senate Faculty from Thomas Leonard, University Librarian, and Anthony Newcomb and Elaine Tennant, co-chairs of the Academic Senate Library Committee, September 4, 2003. The memorandum contains an introduction by Robert M. Berdahl, Chancellor.
  • Summary: The University cancelled an undisclosed number of journals. It emphasized that the problem was runaway journal prices, not the library budget: "Berkeley will continue to face this runaway serials pricing even after the present budget crisis is over." Recommendations: "Faculty need to become aware of the pricing policies of journals (including commercial electronic journals) in their fields....Submit papers to quality journals that have reasonable pricing practices. Modify any contract you sign with a commercial publisher to ensure that you retain the rights to use your work as you see fit, including posting it to a public archive. Consider declining offers to review for unreasonably expensive journals and to serve on their editorial boards....Make changes in scholarly communication a recurring topic at departmental meetings. Consider taking over the publication and distribution of research within your scholarly community. This has already begun at Berkeley, particularly with our colleagues in the Sciences and the Social Sciences....Encourage your professional associations to maintain reasonable prices for scholarship and to establish access terms that are friendly to faculty and other users....The appearance of unconscionable pricing for academic a problem that has come upon the academy suddenly and has now reached crisis proportions. We will have no one to blame but ourselves if we do not begin to address it at once."
  • On September 15, 2003, the Berkeley Graduate Student Assembly released a public statement on the pricing crisis and journal cancellations. It cites the California Digital Library and Project Euclid as good examples of "alternate publication models", but adds that they cannot suffice. "The success of alternate models requires awareness on the part of faculty and students of the problems inherent in the current model. The Graduate Assembly calls on faculty, administrators, and graduate students to support a significant culture change in academia; we must create an environment in which faculty and students can choose to publish their cutting-edge research outside the standard academic publishing industry."
  • The Berkeley library set up a web site with background information on the problem and more detail on the Berkeley response. The site includes a useful FAQ.

In March 2005 the Berkeley Faculty Senate adopted a Scholarly Publishing Statement of Principles.

  • Summary: Faculty should retain "control" of their "scholarly output". This "will allow Berkeley faculty greater freedom to disseminate their work, therefore increasing others' use of it and maximizing the impact of their scholarship." Promotion and tenure decisions "will not discriminate against alternative venues for scholarly communication." The university "will provide appropriate incentives and tools for faculty to establish alternative scholarly outlets, serve on and lead relevant editorial boards, and submit their scholarly work to such ventures." "The faculty and administration of the University of California, Berkeley will support the Library’ s efforts to curtail unsustainable pricing structures even if this sometimes means losing access to titles."


  • In March 2005 (exact date unknown), the University of California at Berkeley Faculty Senate adopted another resolution.
  • On March 10, 2005, the University of California adopted another resolution.