Re: Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?

From: Thomas J. Walker <tjw_at_UFL.EDU>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 15:28:49 -0500

At 03:57 PM 12/24/01 +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
>On Mon, 24 Dec 2001, Thomas J. Walker wrote:
>> It is easy to understand why commercially published journals do not offer
>> their authors the service, but it is not at all clear why society-published
>> journals do not. The members of the societies would approve, and the
>> society's journals would gain in value because their authors would gain in
>> impact.
>Nevertheless, it is a fact that almost no journal yet offers it!

True, and this puzzles me in the case of society-published journals.

>But even if they did, it is not at all clear whether paying the
>price would be more attractive to researchers than just self-archiving
>it for themselves. The effort is in reality minimal (a few minutes).

They might well do both. As far as how many would pay for
publisher-assisted immediate free Web access, it would depend on the price
and how convenient it made the free access.

>It is more likely that the reason researchers are not yet taking either
>path in sufficient numbers is that they simply have not thought it
>through yet.

As you noted above, the paths are not equally available. All researchers
can self-archive. What per cent do? Only Entomological Society of
America authors can pay extra for publisher-assisted immediate free Web
access. For articles in the Nov/Dec issues of the four ESA journals, 61%
of authors paid the fee (64 of 105).

[Is it true that only ESA sells immediate free Web access to their authors?
 If not, what other publishers offer the service and at what price and with
sales to what per cent of authors?]

Tom Walker
Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology and Nematology
University of Florida E-mail:
PO Box 110620 FAX: 352-392-0190
Gainesville FL 32611-0620 Phone: 352-392-1901 ext. 125
Received on Wed Dec 26 2001 - 20:51:35 GMT

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