Submissions for a Review of the operation and vision of Review of Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) have been invited by 12 September 2011. ERA is a buying consortia of Australian libraries, headed by the National Library of Australia, which buys on-line information services, mostly from overseas sources.
One interesting aspect of the review is that three out of five of the members of the committee are from the education sector (school, TAFE and University).
One aspect the ERA review terms of reference does not seem to cover is how to publish Australian works on-line at low cost. I suggest that Australian libraries and educational institutions should look at how to foster on-line publishing, including free and open access, as a way to reduce costs (as well as boost Australian culture and commerce).
Yesterday I was contacted by an award winning Australian author asking about how to publish their new book on-line. They do not particularly want to make a lot of money, they mostly want to get there book out there.
Australian libraries could provide facilities for Australian authors to publish their work at low cost. Some universities do this, where they provide e-books and e-journals on-line for free. An example is ANU e-Press, which sells copies of book by Australian National University authors on paper, but also allows free access to the web versions of the books.
There are some open access journals from Australian universities, most using the Canadian "Op-en Journal System" (OJS) software, but these tend to last only an few issues, due to lack of support.
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