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

From: Christopher D. Green <christo_at_YORKU.CA>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 08:47:47 -0400

Fytton Rowland wrote:

> There is a head of steam building up against the "author pays" model now,
> partly due to these confusions, and partly due to the long-term dislike of
> authors for page charges. Many authors do not distinguish between charges
> levied by journals that also charge subscriptions, and charges levied by
> open-access journals. This may lead to the early death of the new model and the
> continuation of toll-access and the journals crisis for libraries. Stevan may
> not mind about that, but his preferred model of institutional open-access
> repositories depends on someone else doing the refereeing.

For authors who don't personally subscribe to a given journal, but read it in the
library, there *is* no difference between "charges levied by journals that also
charge subscriptions, and charges levied by open-access journals" (expect that the
page charge is often *higher* than the subscription would have been). Page charges
like those levied by PLoS and BMC will never be accepted in psychoolgy, which is
now among the largest of all academic disciplines (Amer. Psych. Assoc. -- whch is
only the largets of several major psych. societies -- has some 150,000
members/affiliates and publishes nearly 50 journals). Stevan disagrees with me
about this -- never say "never," he says. I forwarded an intersting piece about
PLoS to an APA divisonal listserv the other day and the *only* response was
(approximately): "$1500, are they crazy?!" I told them about institutional
membership and their ire abated... somewhat. I agree with you that the
institutional membership should not be charged to the library budget (or that the
library budget should be increased to account for the new service they are
providing), but institutional membership is, IMHO, the way to go. Otherwise, the
vast majority of authors (who don't really care about this issue one way or
another) will simply continue to send their work to traditional journals that
charge them nothing to publish and whose issues they can pick off the library
shelves (apparently) for free.

Christopher D. Green
Department of Psychology
York University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M3J 1P3
phone:  416-736-5115 ext. 66164
fax:    416-736-5814
Received on Tue Jul 22 2003 - 13:47:47 BST

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