Eli, as he has mentioned before, is a very old bunny. Back when he was not a very old bunny he took a class from another very old bunny who shall remain nameless, but was very well connected to the scientific/government nomenklatura even further back and who liked to reminisce.
The latter was chosen for the political reason that it would be hard to NOT subsidize commercial publishers if the former were taken, and if commercial publishers were subsidized there would be a mighty hue and cry across the land.
Twitter is abuzz with the EU announcing that from then on (2020) all publications will have to be Open Access (OA). The UK is already there so Brexet will make no difference one way or another. Victor V is really excited about this.
Which brings Eli to a couple of points. In the last few years granting agencies have been writing open access rules into their guidelines. For example the NSF Public Access Plan reads
NSF will require that either the version of record or the final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions described in the scope above (Section 2.0) and resulting from new awards resulting from proposals submitted, or due, on or after the January 2016 effective date must:
• Be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF;The NIH Public Access Plan differs in one significant way imposed by the law
• Be available for download, reading, and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication;
• Possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication (Section 7.3.1);
• Be managed to ensure long-term preservation (Section 7.7); and
• Be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a unique persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements.
The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the Public Access Policy in a manner consistent with copyright lawWhich means that NIH assumes the burden of maintaining the PubMed Central database in perpetuity.
The UK Research Councils have a similar policy, but have explicitly grabbed the bunny by the ears
It is planned that the funding provided by Research Councils to support open access will be increased over the next five years until all published peer‐reviewed papers which derive from Research Council funding are open access (whether published via the ‘gold’ or ‘green’ routes). This increase in funding during transition reflects an estimate of the time that will be needed for researchers, institutions and publishers to make the transition to a fully Open Access model. It will also allow publication funding already provided through direct and indirect costs on current grants to be fully utilized.and they provide a table of block granted payments to the various UK universities. Just for local interest, Edinburgh gets 1.1 M£, Bristol 0.78 M£, Sussex 0.22. The total is about 22.6 M£ per year.
Now librarians are caught between the devil (Springer) and the deep blue sea (faculty). The devil has squeezed the libraries declining budgets dry, while ACS, APS, etc. are not so avaricious their journal packages still cost a bit in an era of declining resources, but librarians are librarians and the point of a library is not to have today's journal available today, but in 100 years or more. There is always the 100 year old article/book that is still relevant today so they have to ask what guarantee there is that a repository will not have expired, that the 8" floppy, or cd that the information is on will still be readable, etc. A librarian sees great virtue in paper, even papers not published on acid free paper.
In particular were Eli a librarian, he would be greatly troubled by the suggestion that colleges and universities establish and maintain the repositories for their own faculty's writings. Who knows what will happen to that college? Who knows if a publisher who has a repository will go out of business, or even worse, sell out to some dudebro like Martin Shkreli.
So OA has to confront not only right now, but way out when and that is not so easy.
So, what is the answer?
Eli suggests Global Access, a set of linked repositories maintained by all of the funding agencies and learned societies of the world with a uniform Article Processing Fee structure. If a publisher wants more, let the authors take it out of their own pockets, or rebated overhead, or grandma's cookie jar. Whatever
Authors shall be responsible not only for depositing electronic versions of their articles, but also for ensuring that print versions are available either through commercial or learned society publications/journals or through a library accessible through the World Cat.
If the later is chosen the depositing library shall be responsible for obtaining a unique DOI for the document with appropriate metadata so that it can be searched and identified.
Of course, it could all be left to Sci Hub. Maybe not.