Re: The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)

From: J.W.T.Smith <J.W.T.Smith_at_UKC.AC.UK>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 12:17:13 +0100

Fytton, et al,

On Tue, 6 Jul 1999, Fytton Rowland wrote:


> So far as really esoteric journals are concerned I think Professor Harnad
> is right; they do not belong in the commercial world at all, and an
> "author-pays" system, with a moderate charge to cover the costs of peer
> review and of maintaining the document on the WWW in perpetuity, seems
> appropriate.
> At the other end of the scale, Nature, for example, is a very successful
> commercial enterprise, and there is no way it will cease to be
> "reader-pays" -but in any case, high circulations attract advertising
> revenue and generally help to keep cover prices down.
> There is a grey area in between, where journals such as those of the
> American Chemical Society, for example, have a large sale to commercial
> chemical and pharmaceutical companies. There is no reason on earth why
> academia should subsidise *them*, so surely a "reader-pays" system should
> stay. The argument comes down to this: how do we draw the lines between
> the different types of scholarly journal?

Your analysis assumes a continuation of the current publishing model
(albeit in e-form). However if we move to an archive/overlays model (as I
interpret Prof Harnad's model) for inter-academic publishing the trade
model cannot survive in anything like its present form because the real
content of 'journals' (the articles) will be freely available in an
archive (or from the author's/institution's own web site). My own model

could survive the transition since the selection/pointing services
(Subject Focal Points- SFPs) are separate from the archiving and
evaluation activities. What the subscriber is paying for is the
alerting/selection service of the SFPs. The author pays for the evaluation
- the reader pays to be told about the existence of the article.


John Smith,
University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:34 GMT