“What we were trying to do was to try and help Iraqi scientists who had been shoved into military activities get re-engaged in civilian science and so the Iraqi Virtual Science Library Project was an effort to extend the hand of support and help them connect back to the world of international science by giving them access to research information. We did that with the help of the Department of State and the Department of Defense and negotiated deals with the major science publishers to make content available.”
From his perspective today, the approach of trying to increase access for certain groups by negotiating with the publishers only reinforces the system. Naim asserted that the “The industry is under oligopolistic conditions.” (click here to hear me try to say oligopoly). Actually when you see that someone can offer a 98% discount, it seriously calls into question the pricing of the product.
|IVSL Librarian Training in Amman|
|Failed google translation of "Iraqi Virtual Scientific Library Evaluation Study An" from the IASJ|
“What makes me hopeful is the increased recognition of scholars of the values of open and how there is really a kind of changing tide towards openness, and eventually the younger generation and their values are going to play a huge role --- they are not going to accept this industry and this situation that we’re in right now.”
Epilogue: This blog, was originally published on June 8 - on June 9th, Sempertools received word from the Iraq Ministry of Higher Education to re-activate the IVSL and they are working on launching it again. This is great news for Iraqi researchers. Access to paywalled papers can strengthen Iraqi research and in turn, the open access publication system now in place in Iraq. Will it also strengthen the Oligopoly? What do you think?