There is an editorial in The Hindu on open access. I have written about this before in this blog several times.
While Harvard spends around $4 million of its $400 million budget on the library (i.e., 1%), IITs/IISc spends around $2 million per year on its library budget, which is nearly 5-10% of the overall budget. Much of these are wasted on commercial publishers while the cost of many society journals are still manageable. It is rather critical to understand the differences between a society and a commercial publisher. I have written in detail about the differences in commercial and society publishers and the need for a faculty to understand the cost involved in publishing.
While nearly 80% of the IISc budget is paid to the commercial publisher, less than 40% of the articles published by faculty are in journals published by commercial publishers. A librarian (especially in India) wants to buy the entire package sold by the publisher as the commercial publishers continue to add journals without adding to the content. Librarians would withdraw from "big deals" and ask themselves what the faculty actually needs. At the initial stages (like the new IITs), the librarians should ask the faculty to buy the journals as individual subscriptions and subsidize it through institution funding rather than get institution-wide site licence.
Recently, in a meeting with the publishers, I was appalled to see Springer quoting nearly $100,000 for subscription to each new IIT. Many new IITs do not have any reasonable number of faculty and the number of full text downloads are minimal (< 1000). When questioned why this cost was nearly 10 times that offered to an Indian university, they were quick to point out that IITs are funded better and may have higher usage later. This differential pricing (depending on the ability to pay) is ridiculous. This is like that the price of a car is determined depending on my pay and how much I will use the car !
Later in the meeting, the representative made a statement that scientists can not survive without them. In USA, statements like this leads to scientists withdrawing from editorial boards, refusing to review and publish with these publishers. Not that it may make any difference, but as a scientist, I will not publish any more with journals published by Springer.