More thoughts on Impact Factors & Open Access journal publishing

From: Dana Roth <dzrlib_at_LIBRARY.CALTECH.EDU>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 16:18:39 -0700

There is an excellent editorial in the current issue of the
'Electrochemical Society Interface', by its president Mark Allendorf
(Sandia), encouraging authors to take a more holistic view of publishing
venues and not simply follow the "herd instinct to choose journals on
the basis of a single illusory number" (i.e., the ISI Impact Factor).

"As members of the scientific community, we have a choice about where
we publish our work. Remember, we're giving our work to a publisher,
so we have every right to demand high standards. Furthermore, in most
cases we're providing the documentation for publicly funded research,
so public access to the information should be taken into account. In my
view that means selecting a responsible publisher who strives to make
the information available at an economical rate, guarantees that the
publication is truly archival, and doesn't manipulate the market to
eliminate competition." (1)

This makes excellent sense to me ... especially since the ECS' flagship
journal ... Journal of the Electrochemical Society published 6080
pages last year with only a $761 institutional subscription ... yes,
less than 13 cents per page ... presumably because they also ask for
a $75/page charge from their authors. Compare this with the typical
commercial journal which is priced at over $1/page, albeit without author
page charges.

The Electrochemical Society approach seems like an excellent compromise
between 'OA author pays' and 'non-OA library pays' ... and this approach
is also followed by J. Biol. Chem. and J. Neuroscience among others ...

1. (The Electrochemical Society's Interface is freely available)

Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540
Received on Tue Oct 24 2006 - 02:10:54 BST

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