Re: The Logic of Page Charges to Free the Journal Literature

From: Sally Morris \(ALPSP\) <"Sally>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 12:49:21 +0200

I think the report (at needs to
be read rather carefully

The cost figures are not new, but make sensible use of previously
published figures (whether or not these have been updated to current
values I am not sure); the separation of 'per submission' and 'per
publication' costs is, I think, particularly valuable.

However, there are two big flaws. The first is that the author compares
a print + electronic subscription journal with an electronic-only open
access journal. Most of the 30% savings identified lie in the
difference between p+e and e-only - as the author says, any savings from
no longer needing to handle and sells subscriptions/licences will be
offset, at least to a degree, by the need for a system to charge
authors. The sources on which the author draws have set the e-only
savings at 20-25%. (Of course, if an OA journal still finds it
necessary to produce a print version, some of these savings will not be

The second flaw is that, despite frequent reminders in the text that the
figures quoted are merely direct per-article costs, and that a figure
must be added (a) for overheads and (b) for profit/surplus, the author
himself fails to do so and quotes his 'cost' figures as being
appropriate for author charges. One actually needs to add some 30% for
overheads and 15% for profit/surplus in order to arrive at a viable
author charge.

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
ALPSP Website
Received on Wed May 05 2004 - 11:49:21 BST

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