Re: Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?

From: Arthur Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:24:42 -0400

On Fri, 28 Aug 1998 10:45:02 -0400, Thomas J. Walker <tjw_at_GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU> wrote:

>Arthur Smith ( Might e-reprints be a way to evolve into
>free access in an all-electronic future? Authors (or their institutions or
>grants) would get used to paying for immediate toll-free access. (They
>should get delayed toll-free access without charge.)

No, I don't think claiming you are providing "e-reprints" through
electronic publishing is a good solution. Authors will not be easily
fooled by this (why can they not just post it on an e-print server
and have free unlimited reprints?) And why should you delay publication of
possibly important results just because the author was unable or refused
to pay? And why should not readers pay, in some form at least? If
authors pay for everything, the economic pressures will almost certainly
force publishers into a "vanity press" mode, where quality drops through
the floor (authors care little for quality control, it is the reader who
cares). Tell me how you will sustain the quality of existing scientific
journals against the pressure to cut costs and please the author!
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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