In "Scholarly Presses Discuss What It Takes to Survive," Jennifer Howard of The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the Association of American University Presses 2009 Annual Meeting (restricted access URL).
Here's an excerpt:
"As we know, the crisis in scholarly communication is now in its fifth decade," joked Mr. Armato of the University of Minnesota Press. . . .
The comment got a laugh, but it also set up an assault on what Mr. Armato called the "polarizing and self-serving rhetoric" that fills the debate over open access and scholarly publishing. Yes, we have to learn to live with and through "the transformation that lies not ahead of us but all around us," he advised. Nobody wants to be the ancien régime, Mr. Armato said—look what happened when the tumbrels rolled—but he pointed out that "revolutions often begin without much consideration" of what's lost on the road to utopia. Revolutionary rhetoric has done more to harm scholarly communication than to advance it, as revolutions tend to ignore "the human, social, and cultural consequences of those steps and what is destroyed along the way," he warned.