As publishing tides continue to shift from paper to digital, the relevant economics become trickier and trickier to sort out. This is especially true in the world of academic publishing, where calls for open access demand an additional systemic re-engineering step. In the NYRB piece below, Robert Darnton gives a nice review of the current state of open access efforts with a specific focus on the Digital Public Library of America.

If there was ever an expert on the web of relationships between books, academia, publishing, libraries, and the digital, it was Darnton. Curiously, though, there's something missing from the current review: a justification for open access in the first place. As evinced therein, many scholars tend to take the pro-OA position for granted. Unfortunately, the debate is very open.