Re: ALPSP statement on BOAI

From: Arthur P. Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 22:05:27 -0500

On Sun, 17 Feb 2002, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> This is an empirical question, and one that the ALPSP opinion survey of
> a few years ago could not possibly answer. Only the market can answer
> it, by testing whether scholars (actually, the institutions who pay for
> their subscriptions) value the part of formal publication that goes
> above and beyond peer review to pay for it EVEN IF IT IS NOT FORCIBLY
> CO-BUNDLED WITH PEER REVIEW: If given a choice between paying for peer
> review alone, and paying for the rest, of which peer review is only a
> part, will institutions (on behalf of their scholars) want to keep
> paying for the rest?

Huh? How is that the question? Why exactly are institutions the only
ones who can legitimately represent their scholars? And why is
it that the only consideration here at all is what the "scholars"
want anyway? Don't we have a very broad consituency to consider?
Researchers, certainly, but also students, researchers in distant disciplines,
historians, and yes, perhaps, scholarly societies and their long
historical association with disciplines, and the fundamental
needs of "science" itself, for the health of each discipline?

So who should decide whose priorities matter? Well, I have no
problem with empirical evidence and the wishes of the market; aside
from Stevan's pipe dreams about peer review not "forcibly co-bundled"
with other add-ons (there used to be a LOT of journals that published
camera-ready articles and only did peer review - were they evidence
for a market for this?) one could take a detailed look at the current
market for research publications and, I believe, learn quite a lot...

But at least ALPSP is doing some real research on some of the issues,
rather than just dealing in anecdotes, speculation and wishful
thinking... give them some suggestions for new studies and I'm sure
they'd be willing to give them careful consideration.

Received on Wed Feb 20 2002 - 09:44:55 GMT

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