Campus leaders across the country are working to spend money with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and other underrepresented groups. An equally important goal shared by many institutions is helping these business owners develop the know-how to compete in the wider economy.
Librarians and their advocates are also pushing for systemic change: a transition away from the subscription-based model of scholarly communication and toward open access. This transition to free availability of published research is one librarians say university administrators should work to accelerate.
Five years ago, a researcher in Kazakhstan frustrated at the inaccessibility and cost of so many scholarly journals launched Sci-Hub, a website that today provides quick, free access to 47 million articles, often by illegally bypassing paywalls.
A recent article in Science found that in a single six-month period, Sci-Hub received requests for a staggering 28 million papers.
To the publishers whose copyrights are being subverted, Sci-Hub is nothing but piracy.
To academic librarians, the serials crisis—the budget squeeze caused by the rising cost of subscriptions to scholarly journals—is old news.
Library spending on serials rose 402 percent between 1986 and 2012, according to the Association of Research Libraries, and costs for individual subscriptions rose by an average of 12 percent over the past two years alone, a Library Journal survey found.