Re: Online Self-Archiving: Distinguishing the Optimal from the Optional

From: Lee Miller <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 08:38:04 +0000

Tim O'Reilly's predictions are not borne out by our experience with the
free, on-line-only journal, Conservation Ecology,
now in its 6th year of publication. This rigorously peer-reviewed journal
was started by an independent group of scientists at Carleton University in
Ottawa. It quickly achieved a larger circulation that most of the leading
journals in its field, and is now recognized by inclusion in the Expanded
Science Citation Index and in Current Contents and Alerting Services. Its
worldwide circulation continues to grow, without the involvement of any
sellers, any middlemen, any retailers or wholesale aggregators. New readers
discover the journal via Google and other search engines. Readers whose
employers cannot afford to purchase journals, especially readers in
developing countries or in smaller institutions in developed countries, are
thrilled to have access to high quality research reports at no cost. (Peer
review and journal administration costs are underwritten by the Resilience
Alliance, a consortium of research institutions

Here is some information about the distribution of its readership, from the
journal's website, :

"Conservation Ecology's audience is an international community of scholars
and practitioners representing the natural and social sciences, business,
government, and NGO's. A majority of the 11,100+ subscribers to
Conservation Ecology are affiliated with academic institutions, but a
substantial portion (31%) represent commercial organizations, and 4% of
subscribers represent non-profit organizations. Of the approximately 3250
subscribers in the United States 17% are affiliated with government

"With subscribers in 108 countries and many more regular "unsubscribed"
readers of the journal, Conservation Ecology is not only bridging
disciplines and facilitating communication among researchers and policy
makers, but also providing a mechanism for more international perspectives
to be shared. Of the subscribers for which we have country of residence
information, nearly two-thirds hail from North America (U.S.A. 45%, Canada
11%), the remaining third is will distributed around the world (Western
Europe 13%, Latin America 11%, Australasia 8%, Scandinavia 3%,
Central/Northern Asia 2%, South East Asia 2%, South West Asia 1%, Africa
2%, Eastern Europe 2%, and the Caribbean 0.5%). The Southern Hemisphere is
well represented among our subscribers (19%). Conservation Ecology
currently has subscribers in over 50 developing countries. Easy and rapid
international access to the journal is provided by mirror sites in Sweden
and South Africa.

"There are also many regular readers of Conservation Ecology who are not
registered subscribers. Conservation Ecology website receives an average of
140,000 successful requests for pages per month. Web Server Statistics for
Conservation Ecology indicate that in 2001 the journal has served requests
from over 70,000 distinct hosts, suggesting a much broader audience than is
revealed by our list of subscribers alone.

"Although a subscription to Conservation Ecology is not required for full
access to the journal, subscription is free"

At 02:27 PM 12/12/2002 Thursday -0500, Arthur P. Smith wrote:
>By the way, Tim O'Reilly (of O'Reilly software book publishing fame) has
>an interesting article up on very related issues in the book publishing
>business (and music publishing, movies, and other forms):
>Some quotes:


>"Publishing is not a role that will be undone by any new technology,
>since its existence is mandated by mathematics. Millions of buyers and
>millions of sellers cannot find one another without one or more
>middlemen who, like a kind of step-down transformer, segment the market
>into more manageable pieces. In fact, there is usually a rich ecology of
>middlemen. Publishers aggregate authors for retailers [or libraries].
>Retailers aggregate customers for publishers. Wholesalers aggregate
>small publishers for retailers and small retailers for publishers. [etc.]"


>"Free" is eventually replaced by a higher-quality paid service."

Lee N. Miller
Managing Editor Emeritus
Conservation Ecology
Received on Fri Dec 13 2002 - 08:38:04 GMT

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