Re: Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?

From: Thomas J. Walker <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 22:36:42 +0000


I see that you have changed the name of "Why not offer a valuable
service?", a thread I recently started. The new name you chose is not
descriptive of what I'd like discussed, which is why don't publishers offer
free access services that their authors want so long as they can make a
profit by doing so. If you must rename the thread, how about "Should
publishers offer free-access services?" [Done. -- SH]

The service I suggested for APS was posting the APS-formatted versions of
articles on arXiv.

In the case of Entomological Society of America [ESA], the bundle of
services it sells for a single fee (75% of the cost of 100 paper reprints)

(1) no restraints on authors' use of the PDF files of their ESA-formatted
articles, including posting them on any server they please (something that
APS does not allow)

(2) posting the files on ESA's server at a location where they are easily
found and freely accessible (

Something that it may soon include but does not yet is:

(3) making the articles immediately accessible via PubMed Central.

[More than a year ago ESA and PubMed Central agreed to this, but
implementation has not been easy.]

I am lobbying for yet another service that would add to the value of the

(4) insuring that the full-text of articles are hot-linked to the records
in ISI's Current Contents Connect and Web of Science.

Even with only (1) and (2) in effect, more than 60% of ESA's authors choose
to buy the bundle.


At 08:24 PM 12/21/2001 +0000, you wrote:
>At 02:06 AM 12/21/2001 +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> >On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, Thomas J. Walker wrote:
> >
> > > The University of Florida has no OAI-compliant University Eprint
> > > Archives and my attempts to interest the Director of Libraries in
> > > starting one have so far been unsuccessful.
> > >
> > > Perhaps it is not too late for APS and some of its authors to benefit
> from
> > > the service I described.
> >
> >Well, I shall have to leave it to the university community's
> >judgment whether, in the short- and long-term interest of
> >
> >(1) maximizing other universities' access to their outgoing research,
> >(2) maximixing the impact of their outgoing research,
> >(3) maximizing their access to other universities' outgoing research,
> > and perhaps eventually also
> >(3) relieving their serials crisis
> >
> >the university library and administration elect to do:
> >
> >(a) nothing,
> >(b) create and fill university Eprint Archives for their outgoing
> > research,
> >(c) pay journals to do the equivalent for them.
> >
> >My guess is that by far the cheapest, fastest, most productive, and
> >most general option would be (b). And a growing number of universities
> >seem to be coming to this conclusion too (that UFL is not yet one of
> >them may not be the decisive datum)....
>I am continually disappointed that administrators of granting agencies,
>scientific societies, and universities fail to take simple steps that would
>lead rapidly to free access to journal literature. Therefore, my guess is
>that they will mostly continue to do (a) [nothing].
>Therefore, researchers, who are the ones most hurt by suboptimal access to
>their articles, should encourage their universities to do (b) _and_ their
>societies to permit (c).
>To generalize on the question I asked relative to APS, why do not
>scientific societies offer their authors a service that all would want and
>for which many would pay a profit-making price?
>Thomas J. Walker
>Department of Entomology & Nematology
>PO Box 110620 (or Natural Area Drive)
>University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
>E-mail: (or
>FAX: (352)392-0190

Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
PO Box 110620 (or Natural Area Drive)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
E-mail: (or
FAX: (352)392-0190
Received on Fri Dec 21 2001 - 22:37:03 GMT

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