Re: The True Cost of the Essentials

From: Eberhard R. Hilf <hilf_at_PHYSNET.PHYSIK.UNI-OLDENBURG.DE>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 11:12:10 +0200

dear Mark,
following the discussion on both channels I am worried about the
'abstract' nature of it.

APS asks for a solid proposition for a future scenario with a sound
business model?
It seems that you start from assuming that the short cut of free access
full texts available on the web from the author to the reader
(by either his server, distributed services or central archives)
is inevitable. Thats fine.

The future role of the learned societies such as APS as the leading one in
Physics is the same as ever: serve the physicists with
professional services for their daily work.
APS as society's information management competence center instead of
document distribution center.

That means here: a bundle of services to manage scientific documents:
* intelligent personalized retrieval
* crossreference across all sources, including inst.-webservers,
* virtual subfield collections and alerting
* professional offline refereeing (refereeing after dissemination of the
documents, and independent of where it resides (even across publishers of
course); closest to this is the successful 'living reviews of
Gen.Relativity', although far too slow), that is referees who are experts
(and might even be paid by APS) to oversee actively their field and the
new papers and read them and referee/summarize openly.
* permanently updating collection of authors tools to help them writing
and transferring to MathML/XML in a 'state of the art' way.
[Revtex 4 was in that respect at that time the best tool by concept].
* etc.

The business model follows from this:
* registered users [Members of the society APS or associated societies
(DPG) for free, who paid with their fee: thus contracts with the other
major societies (how much per member would be an estimate?]
* registered Institutes, Libraries
* anyone from Industry by registration (highest fee,..).

Example: we as a small physicist group of 10 pay at present 1.000,-$ per
year and person for computer programmes, and a virtual share of about
100,-$ per year and person to the library for journals, and about 50,-$
per year per person for society membership fees. We always use the
computers, but miss a surrounding to use MAthML-Physics etc., never go to
the library since the web exists, and see virtually nothing from our
society (apart from the 17 docs per year of NJP..).
Estimate for the above mentioned services 100,-$ per year and person,
would add in physics to more than APS and those few other physics
societies (IoPP?, JPS?, not DPG) who are willing to serve and improve
those services would ever need? [500.000 physicists worldwide make up thus
for 50 Mill. $ per year, enough?]

Transition period: charge the printed copies of APS much higher, and
reduce the online versions gradually to zero.

Dear Mark, I am shure you will quickly bomb down these naive propositions.
But still I would be glad for an answer. Since DPG is starting a server,
where we invited APS to join with services and which could serve as a
marketing place for these services


Eberhard R. Hilf, Dr. Prof.i.R.;
CEO Institute for Science Networking
an der Carl von Ossietzky Universitaet Oldenburg
Ammerlaender Heerstr.121; D-26129 Oldenburg
my homepage: tel/Fax: 0049-441-798-2884/5851
PhysNet for the EPS:

On Tue, 2 Apr 2002, Mark Doyle wrote:

> On Tuesday, April 2, 2002, at 01:08 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> > I have invited Mark Doyle of APS to specify concretely what parallel
> > measures he is recommending that BOAI pursue in order to ensure true
> > archiving in the long-term. BOAI's mandate is to hasten and facilitate
> > open access for the entire peer-reviewed corpus, now, but if there are
> > concrete parallel measures that do not retard the primary objective,
> > I am sure that BOAI will be happy to take them on board. Unfortunately,
> > Mark's (somewhat piqued) reply is far too vague to consititute a
> > concrete
> > recommendation:
> Suffice it to say that a concrete recommendation will be forthcoming (not
> in days, but months most likely). My main goal is to raise awareness at
> institutions
> and libraries that want to promote non-publisher archiving of research
> articles. They
> should consider carefully what kind of infrastructure should be built and
> understand what costs are involved so that can be covered in any new
> economic model that is to supplant the subscription model. Such
> understanding
> may be helpful for extant journals trying to undo the subscription model
> and
> for establishing alternative journals on a sound financial footing
> without
> losing some important benefits provided by the status quo.
> Cheers,
> Mark
> Mark Doyle
> Manager, Product Development
> The American Physical Society
Received on Wed Apr 03 2002 - 13:50:38 BST

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