danah boyd's posting "Open-access is the future: boycott locked-down academic journals," on her fabulous Apophenia blog (http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2008/02/06/openaccess_is_t.html) has generated a few dozen comments, including my own. I agree with some of her statements and assumptions and then balk at others. There should be a way to get to articles other than through yearly subscriptions to commercial journals at exhorbitant prices. Yes! But the idea that university presses (which lose millions, employ copy editors and others at minimal wages but who do what they do, tirelessly, out of a love for scholarship) should be giving away their products free or be boycotted is like saying music file sharing is fine and the musicians who don't condone it should be boycotted because they are exploiting the rest of us. Really? Whose labor isn't being rewarded here? We need to think as carefully about what Nicholas Carr calls the "sharecropping" aspects of Web 2.0 and some versions of open source as we do about our consumer rights. I'm all for finding better ways. Some presses (Duke U Press happens to be one) are moving towards the equivalent of an iTunes model for downloading scholarship--that makes sense to me. Elsevier (the price-gauging commercial science publisher) SHOULD be boycotted. Libraries buy the overpriced commercial science journals and can no longer afford to buy anything else (like humanities and social science scholarship from small presses or university presses or even books). These are all issues we should be thinking about together and I highly recmmend danah's piece and then the long, long list of comments. Thought provoking!