Tensions on the rise between librarians and publishers

February 22, 2016

Librarians are caught between a rock and a hard place, as journal publishers expect them to crack down on ‘pirates’ at the same time that these librarians are criticizing the publishers’ policies. “We are probably both their biggest consumer of the materials [publishers] sell as well as their biggest critics,” USC librarian Carolyn Gardner told the Chronicle of Higher Education. And tensions are on the rise, as services like Sci-Hub have sprung up to provide illegal free access to journal articles. Gardner has surveyed over 200 scholars who used ‘alternative methods’ to access journal articles, finding that while many had used interlibrary loans, some believed the process was too slow. Chronicle of Higher Education