Re: No Free Lunches: We Should Resist the Push to Rush Research Online

From: Arthur Smith <>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 21:10:11 +0100

John Ewing's Chronicle article echoes some of the ideas we discussed on
the "American Scientist" forum back in 1998 - not that I entirely agree
with what I said back then, but his article reminded me of the brief
scenario described at the end of the following:

   If authors en masse suddenly decided to post to [Free service],
   what then? I grant your assumption, and then what?

 1. Peer reviewed journal subscriptions crash
 2. For-profits simply raise their prices (and make out with their
    contracts) while non-profits scramble.
 3. Non-profits try to introduce author page charges. For-profits keep
    at zero. Authors flock to for-profits for publication (the
    imperative is still important) and non-profit submissions crash.
 4. Non-profits turn to government funding. For-profits cry foul and
    unfair competition.
 5. The non-profits fold or are bought out by for-profit publishers.
 6. The for-profits notice that [Free service] also is government

Now both of us are with non-profit physical science publishers - perhaps
the perspective is different in other areas?

                        Arthur Smith (

Peter Suber wrote:
> This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education
> ( was forwarded to you from:
> [...]
> From the issue dated October 12, 2001
> No Free Lunches: We Should Resist the Push to Rush Research
> Online
> [...]
Received on Mon Oct 08 2001 - 21:23:55 BST

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