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In August 2017, a short paper, “The 2.5% Commitment,” was distributed on several email lists. The paper proposed that every academic library should commit to invest 2.5% of its total budget to support the common infrastructure needed to create the open scholarly commons. Somewhat to our surprise, the paper and the ideas it contained have generated widespread discussions and interest. The paper was a response to the Elsevier purchase of Bepress and an article by John Wenzler that suggested that academic libraries faced a collective action problem, and that as a result they would never be able to create the open scholarly commons they aspired to. Our experience working with open infrastructure projects has also made clear how little funding most of these projects have. We, the authors, believe Wenzler has underestimated the academic library community. We believe that with some focused attention on the problem and by raising awareness of the consequences of inaction, we can change our behavior and create incentives for ever larger contributions to the common good. To that end, we have been working to move this agenda forward. We hope all academic libraries will join us in this effort and make the commitment to invest in open infrastructure.




American Library Association

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College & Research Libraries News