Re: The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 15:19:31 -0500

A comparison should include all disciplines, as there are journals even
more expensive than those in economics.

Here are a few preliminary numbers, using publically available data from
WebofScience and the ARL statistics. (Note that because of a variety
of factors these are very rough approximations). In particular, Only
journals covered by Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation
Index are included, as the coverage of Humanities Citation Index is too
spotty-- and those journals much less expensive.

For 2001, the latest year available. [University; number of peer-reviewed
articles published; what it would cost at $1500 per article;
the current serials budget (subscription/license)]:

University articles publ. cost at $1500 serials budget

Cornell 4848 $7.3 million $5.6 million
Dartmouth 1492 $2.2 million $3.2 million
Princeton 3132 $4.7 million $4.7 million
Yale 4463 $6.7 million $6.4 million

Thus, it would seem that the costs of the new scheme for ARL institutions
are about the same as the present (I am aware of the many factors to be
considered in a more exact comparison).

It is presumably the hope of those of us engaged in the various aspects of
the movement for alternatives to conventional journals to reduce costs,
not merely redistribute them.
Thus it would seem that the proposal under discussion has either grossly
overestimated the expense of its scheme, or is too expensive to be
worth considering.

The BioMedCentral price is $500 an article. If it proves to be possible
to operate the scheme at such a price level, then it might well offer
significant cost savings.

Dr. David Goodman
Princeton University Library
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Received on Mon Dec 23 2002 - 20:19:31 GMT

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