[lbo-talk] Serves me right to bitch and moan

shag carpet bomb shag at cleandraws.com
Fri Dec 30 09:52:32 PST 2011

I agree with ProA in some respects, disagree in others.

1. he is assy to assume you aren't in academia because of your writing on the blog. he assumes blog writing is the same as academic - bad assumption. but also just assy to use ad hominem to claim, IL is wrong because he's motivated by sour grapes, not legit argument.

2. true, academic journals cost more because they have a much smaller market than newspapers, etc. also have totally different business model. mags and newspapers make money off advertisements, selling the data of subscribers, etc.

3. he seems to have ignored the fact that you noted that, in the US, you have experienced much more open access to academic journals. so, you seem to be complaining about s. africa's policies. yes?

4. but then, if that's so, then it's not a generic quality of University, but one specific to South Africa. My experience in the states is that it is ridiculously easy to get any obscure book or journal article you want. Librarians bend over backward and almost always LOVE the ordinary citizen who uses their services, especially to get weirdo books out that depart from the usual fare of historical romances and mystery/spy novels.

The Google tells me there is interlibrary loan in SA. Is it different there?

I realize it is a bit more difficult, instant gratification for reading material is a bit of a problem, but every library I've ever used in NY, FL, VT, PA, and VA has bent over backward to get me books and even copies of articles from obscure journals, as well as dissertation chapters. If I could find it in their database, they helped me.

In fact, recently R wanted a book no one could find in any of the consortium member libraries. So, they offered to buy it so he could read it. I shit you not. it was the most obscure book about something on the order of how to live life off the grid or something.

I also had a gig once, research for a famous lefty author. I did everything via interlib loan. She'd give me a list of refs, I'd hunt the material down via interlibrary loan.

all library systems I've used in the u.s. say they may change you for services to photocopy journal articles, btw, but I've never had any of them charge me back when they actually had to send you a copy. These days, they just send it electronically and you pay for the copies at their machines.

University privileges to community members varies. I was surprised to learn on the old Bad Subjects list that California state libraries charge. I was used to NY. In NY, it was completely easy to get books out. contrary to ProA's worries, sometimes as a local/townie borrower, I'd get books out repeatedly and find I was the only person to ever check a book out at all. so, not likely that townie/local borrowers are going to ruin the access of students/researchers/professors! (This was back in the day when you had a paper record of who the book had been checked out to.)

NY university system (public) is also very generous to townies. If you live in the area, you can check out books and make copies of journal articles, and use their interlibrary loan services.

When I taught for state uni system in Florida, I had to pay $50 for alibrary card to have access. Townies/locals had to pay. Casual labor had to pay.

Virginia: have to pay unless you work in one of the consortium institutions. You can become an individual member of Friends of the Library for $35/yr which entitles you to books.


Good grief, this is not EXACTLY on topic, but some dude, ProAcademica, has just ripped me the proverbial new one. See the comment section

I write intermittently on this space; the comments sometimes drive me nuts. I try to be provocative sometimes, but can't believe that people can be so malicious. Maybe I am just naive.

Feel free to comment.

There is something terribly wrong about peer-reviewed scholarship and about academic publishing in general. It resembles an exclusive club of knowledge production where new knowledge is circulated among an elite group of scholars who confirm each other’s prejudices and biases and then pat each other on the back. In some ways, once new knowledge is produced it tends to be withheld from the general public.


Ismail Lagardien

Nihil humani a me alienum puto -- http://cleandraws.com Wear Clean Draws ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

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