Re: Solving the Article Accessibility Problem Moots the Journal Affordability Problem

From: Sally Morris (Chief Executive) <"Sally>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 08:41:55 -0000

Quite. IF librarians and their users see 100% self-archiving as solving the
journal affordability problem THEN journal subscriptions/licence sales will
fall, very possibly to unsustainable levels

Interesting that the High Energy Physics community seems to have noticed
this and is planning to subsidise the conversion of some or all journals in
their field to OA. However, OA publishing doesn't as far as I can see
reduce the costs significantly beyond the savings of all e-only journals -
it just moves them around.


Sally Morris, Chief Executive
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham
Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3UU, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1903 871 686
Fax: +44 (0) 8701 202806
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stevan Harnad" <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 1:00 AM
Subject: Solving the Article Accessibility Problem Moots the Journal
Affordability Problem

> On the premise that the Article Accessibility problem is solved, there is
> no
> longer any Journal Affordability problem left. Let us suppose (and hope)
> that researchers' institutions and funders soon mandate, at long last,
> that
> their employees/fundees (or their assigns) do the pathetically small
> number
> of keystrokes it takes to self-archive all their final, peer-reviewed
> drafts
> in their own Institutional Repositories immediately upon acceptance for
> publication.
> That will generate 100% Open Access (OA).
> Once it is no longer true that any would-be user is unable to access an
> article because his institution cannot afford the journal in which it
> happens to have been published, there is no longer any Accessibility
> Problem. Librarians' annual agony over which journals to keep and which to
> cancel within the constraints of their finite serials budgets (never
> anywhere near enough to afford all published journals) will be over. They
> can purchase as many as they can afford from among those journals for
> which
> their users indicate that they would still quite like to have them
> in-house
> (whether out of desire for the paper edition or for online add-ons, or out
> of habit, sentimentality, loyalty, civic-mindedness or superstition):
> Nothing important hinges on the choice or the outcome once it is sure that
> no potential user is any longer doing without (hence no research or
> researcher is any longer needlessly losing impact because of access
> denial).
> To ever have thought otherwise is simply to have conflated the
> Accessibility
> and Affordability problems: Accessibility was always what made
> Affordability
> a problem at all.
> And before the inevitable, tedious question is asked about how the
> essential
> costs of peer-reviewed journal publishing will continue to be covered
> if/when subscriptions become unsustainable, please consult the prophets:
> (Publishing will adapt, cutting the costs of the inessentials, downsizing
> to
> the essentials, possibly right down to peer-review service-provision
> alone;
> those irreducible essential costs will then be covered on the OA
> cost-recovery model, out of a fraction of the annual institutional
> windfall
> savings from the institutional journal cancellations. Till that income
> stream is released, however, OA Publishing is OA-Publicatio Praecox...)
> Stevan Harnad
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Received on Mon Nov 27 2006 - 17:38:51 GMT

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