Re: The Economics of Open Access Journal Publishing

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:27:59 +0000

     [Moderator's Note: This is a collection of a series of recent
      exchanges on this subject thread, posted collectively instead
      of individually.]

Sally Morris (ALPSP) wrote:

> I suspect [it] is true of the majority of journals in the Lund list
> [ ]
> [that] the costs of staff time, computer capacity and other overheads
> are ignored/absorbed by the home institution.
> Is it, however, an approach which is scaleable for the literature as a
> whole?

Subbiah Arunachalam:

Sally Morris has asked a very good question. Can the Indian model -
where donor agencies or government agencies which fund research also
support journal publication - be scalable?

The answer is yes. Governments everywhere, especially in North America
and Europe, spend a huge sum of money on science. A small part of it
must go for the dissemination of research results (through journals and
archives). Philanthropic foundations support science (Wellcome Trust,
Rockefeller Foundation, Howard Hughes); they may support journals and
open archives. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports research
into HIV/AIDS, vaccines, TB, etc. They could support dissemination of
information in these areas.

What we should aim at is to increase the flow of knowledge worldwide and
reduce the overall costs. And take maximum advantage of what technologies
can offer.

Vinod Scaria wrote:

> Would [OA] Journals be at an advantageous position compared to Journals
> published by 'Publishers'? given the fact that market forces operational
> in this context is more centered around visibility and impact rather
> than the economic model.
> I would be grateful to get feedback/opinion regarding that.

Sally Morris:

Personally I think it is a risky economic model because I do not believe
it could scale up to cover all the research literature (nor that it
would be the best use of academics' time and universities' resources).
Publishers are professionals at doing these things and, under one economic
model or another, I think it makes sense to have them continue to do so -
but I would say that, wouldn't I!

How happy would we be about the independence of a totally state-funded

Sally Morris, Chief Executive
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1903 871686 Fax: +44 (0)1903 871457=20
ALPSP Website
Received on Sat Mar 27 2004 - 13:27:59 GMT

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