Re: Further precisions on the Finnish situation

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 09:01:39 +1100

Thanks Kimmo for the further elaboration and more precise data. I am glad to
see at last some data that appears to be reliable. I believe this is the
only country data that we have seen that seems as though it would stand up
to analysis, apart from my nil report on Australia (and that's only because
there are simply no schemes for public subsidy - I have not bothered to
count journals or look them their policies). I suspect that you did
something the same by tracking down a scheme you knew of.

It seems that we are justified in the following summary from your data:

No of refereed journals: 72
Direct subsidy scheme operated by Academy of Finland (state funded), 618850
euros in 2004
Journals benefiting from this subsidy: 61

Can I follow up and ask out of interest (a) are all these journals in the
romeo/sherpa database? (b) How many of them are grey/green/gold journals

I stand by my statement that most of the data elicited by Jean-Claude's
query is decidedly shonky. And yes, it means the data is of low quality and
untrustworthy. It seems as though Finland data might be the exception and I
apologise for misinterpreting you.

As Jean-Claude concedes in a later email, the proper way to do this study,
if it is to be done at all, is by formulating the questions, precisely and
with care, and then to undertake a careful study (with lists of journals,
public funds received, ISI ranking, etc) for each country.

However, it seems to me to be a research project of low value, since the
prestigious journals that command the highest impact factors are mostly not
published in countries such as Australia or Finland. Indeed even in
countries where they are published, they are surrounded by many other
journals of lesser quality. Our best researchers often publish outside the
country, though of course a language barrier may limit the options. It is
precisely these journals that are unlikely to be subsidized. Mandating OA
for the many minor journals in the world will not help us much.

Arthur Sale

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> Sent: Wednesday, 5 October 2005 00:35
> SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Further precisions on the Finnish situation
> Arthur Sale wrote:
> >I understood Kimmo Kuusela to say
> >that (a) the number of journals was not known,
> I said: "There are about 70 peer reviewed scientific/scholarly journals
> published in Finland. All of them are at least eligible for public
> Later I also said that the number of refereed journals is 72. Someone else
> has said the number of journals is not known.
> >There did not appear to be a public funds subsidization evident, though
> >may be evident in a socialist society.
> A socialist society? Finland?
> >My conclusion is that in Finland there may be no journals subsidized by
> >public funds,
> In 2004 the total amount of *direct* subsidies awarded by the Academy of
> Finland to refereed journals were approximately 618850 euros. For all of
> the scholarly publishing combined (refereed journals plus books), the
> *direct* subsidies were approx. 863070 euros. The number of refereed
> journals receiving *direct* public subsidy was approx. 61.
> The Academy of Finland is a state bureau. It is not a
> scientific/learned/professional society/association in any sense. Its sole
> purpose is to distribute public money to academic research, including
> *direct* subsidies to academic publishing.
> >This whole activity is so unproductive that I appeal to Jean-Claude to
> >abandon it. It is only resulting on highly shonky data, which I would not
> >rely on (and if I were ever asked to referee would immediately reject).
> >wastes my time and that of others on this list.
> Are you referring to my data? (shonky : adjective, AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH
> INFORMAL, of low quality)
> Kimmo Kuusela
> Helsinki
Received on Wed Oct 05 2005 - 03:34:49 BST

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