Open Access and Digital Libraries: A Case Study of the Text Creation Partnership

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Many people operate under the assumption that Open/Closed access is a binary proposition. Either the material is available to everyone on the web or it is closed to a limited number of subscribers. The reality, however, is much more complicated. What is the use of a digital library, no matter how open, if it is unable to sustain and maintain itself over time? What is the point of a well funded collection that is closed to the people who need it most? There are in fact many models for maintaining both open and closed access digital libraries. Though the conversation often focuses on the furthest ends of the spectrum (greedy publishers extorting money to content, or, conversely, benevolent academics making knowledge freely available to the world via grants), there are in fact many models that are in between these extremes that exhibit characteristics of both closed and open access models. In particular, the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) tries to work with commercial publishers to create a middle road between these extremes. By investigating the many types of open and closed access models, and seeing how models like the TCP fit in this landscape, it is possible to make better determinations on how to build digital libraries in the future. How should the community come together to find a more moderate path, and what will that road look like?

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<p>This paper is also available in a Bulgarian translation at</p>
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