Re: OAI and the rational publisher

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 17:26:14 -0500

Should a rational publisher fear the OAI?

A rational publisher need not and does not fear the OAI for those
journals which are worth reading, and consequently worth buying; it will
both now and in the future be able to sell these.

It certainly ought to fear for those journals that are not worth
reading, and consequently not worth buying. The only function of these
journals is to certify publications as having been at least
superficially "peer-reviewed." This can obviously be done at a much
lower cost; thus, if they continue to publish these journals at anywhere
near the present prices, they will not be able to sell them. Considering
the low demand, it seems probable to me that they might not be able to
reduce their costs enough to sell them at all.

The solution for a publisher is obvious: it should publish good
journals, and only good journals. A publisher complaining about the
threat of OAI suggests that it knows very well that the quality of its
journals cannot compete.

David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Science Bibliographer
Princeton University Library
Princeton, NJ 08544-0001
phone: 609-258-7785
fax: 609-258-2627

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Re:
> See also:
> > Critics of a project to set up alternative open-access
> > scientific journals on the internet say the idea is
> > ill-conceived and will undermine quality.

> > But, says Sally Morris, of the Association of Learned and
> > Professional Society Publishers, open-access initiatives will
> > undermine existing journals without replacing them.
> Open access will free researchers' give-away peer-reviewed research
> from obsolete access barriers, maximizing their research impact and
> allowing journal publishers to downsize and restructure accordingly.
> > "People value peer review and they value research being gathered
> > together in things called journals," she told BBC News Online.
> Peer review will continue exactly as before there was open access.
> Journals will continue to be journals. What will change is what
> "gathered in" means. And open access is for those would-be users
> whose institutions cannot afford access to each given paper, either
> on-paper or on-line. That corresponds to the majority of potential
> users, for the majority of the annual 2 million papers in the 20,000
> extant peer-reviewed journals. All of that would be lost research
> impact otherwise.
> > 'Somebody has to pay'
> > "But open archiving means you don't have to go to the journal
> > and we believe it could very rapidly undermine the journals
> > without putting anything in their place," she said.
> ...
> See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

Received on Tue Apr 02 2002 - 00:14:54 BST

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