Re: Australian Public Funding of Journals

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 08:26:45 +1000


Best wishes for your Brazil trip. I've interspersed replies to your recent
reply to a reply to ...

Arthur Sale
Professor of Computing (Research)
University of Tasmania

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean-Claude Guédon []
> Sent: Sunday, 18 September 2005 20:33
> To:
> Subject: RE: Australian Public Funding of Journals
> Arthur,
> Thank you again. The AAH statement was not clear, but it is still
> subsidies to publications and these publications deal with research
> results. In the humanities, monographs still prevail, but they are
> research monographs.

We were writing about journal articles. Monographs are seldom put into OA
archives, apart from theses/dissertations which generally have no other
outlet. If you'd like to argue that theses/dissertations should be mandated
to be put in an OA server, then I'm with you. I know that most of them are
funded by (public) scholarships.

> How about CSIRO. Is it purely commercial?

No it draws on both public and commercial funds, but it only publishes
in-house serials, with no real scholarly standing. So does the telco Telstra
(49% in private ownership, 51% government, soon to change to 100:0%).

> And why can't you see journals as part of the research process? This is
> how the Wellcome approaches the question, as does PLoS. Governments
> subsidize research; it all depends on how you define the needs of the
> research process. Some, including myself, include publications.

As a researcher, I certainly see journals as being involved in the research
process, as I access them all the time (and so do my students and
colleagues) to assess the state of the art and to build on what others have
done. This aspect of journals (*retrieval*) is funded publicly through
university library subscriptions (not journal subsidies).

However, what we are writing about is subsidizing *dissemination*, after the
research has reached a useful point. As a researcher again I have multiple
outlets for my work. I would resent the Australian Government getting in the
way by subsidizing an Australian journal (for example) in bioinformatics and
expecting me to publish in it as a consequence. I would regard it as a waste
of public money. As I said we have no truck with that sort of market
distortion. I suppose it may have some value in areas which are under-served
with outlets - perhaps some small areas of Australiana of no interest to
anyone outside Australia. I can't think of one.

In Australia we see publication/dissemination of research results as
operating in a global competitive market. We are very happy with that.

> Best (I am on my way to Brazil - no time now),
> jc
Received on Mon Sep 19 2005 - 00:37:30 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:01 GMT