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USENIX Supports Open Access

Last week, Andrew Appel wrote a series of articles about open access to scholarly papers. Harvard University also entered the discussion when it posted its Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing. Apparently Harvard spends almost US$ 3.75M annually on scholarly journals:

Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles.

The memorandum makes several suggestions to faculty members, which includes submitting articles to open-access journals.

USENIX Board Director Matt Blaze responded to the topic with this Tweet:

Blaze is right — USENIX authors retain their copyright and USENIX proceedings have been freely available since 2008. In fact, USENIX membership dues directly help us support open access.

If you aren't currently a member, please consider joining USENIX, and if you'd like even more system administration content, check out our LISA membership.

In addition to supporting open access to exceptional scholarly papers, members receive a free subscription to the USENIX magazine, ;login:, discounts on USENIX-sponsored and co-sponsored event fees, access to USENIX Jobs Board, discounts on other technical publications, and the right to vote in USENIX Association elections.

That's a lot of bang for a few well-spent bucks.

(And if you're a student on an already too-tight budget, you'll be relieved to know that we have an even more affordable student membership option for you.)

Thanks to everyone who has already joined or renewed their USENIX memberships!