Re: Study Identifies Factors That Could Lead to Cancelled Subscriptions

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 03:51:14 +0000

On Sun, 10 Dec 2006, Sally Morris (Chief Executive) wrote:

> As I hoped, a publisher has come up with some real figures about
> the effect of going OA after a short embargo. See below from
> PNAS (forwarded with Diane's permission).

Dear Sally:

Let's keep our eye on the ball: The question is and has always been:
Is there any evidence that self-archiving (green) causes cancellations?

Answer is still: No.

The PNAS report below is about making the journal freely accessible
(gold). That makes all of its contents, publisher's version, at the
publisher's website, free for all (gold) (within a month).

I, for one, have never doubted that *that* could cause cancellations. But
anarchic author self-archiving -- of each author's postprints, in each
author's own IR, in uncertain proportions and at uncertain rates -- is
another story.

(But if/when mandated self-archiving should ever prove to cause cancellations
after all, publishing can and will adapt; research should certainly not renounce
its impact in order to insure journals' current modus operandi against all risk
from the new medium!)

> I wonder whether there are other publishers on this list who have
> statistics they could share?

Let's hope that if they do, their stats will be to the point (green), rather than
off-topic (gold)!

Chrs, Stevan

> Sally Morris, Chief Executive
> Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
> Email:
> Website:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sullenberger, Diane" <>
> To: "Sally Morris (Chief Executive)" <>
> Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 5:32 PM
> Subject: RE: Study Identifies Factors That Could Lead to Cancelled
> Subscriptions
> Hi Sally,
> In 2000, we were free after one month. We lost 11% of our paid
> subscribers in 2001, higher than the industry average, and we
> switched to 6 months in 2002. The move did not stem the loss in
> subscribers but it was reduced to 9% in 2002. We do not have hard
> data to show a causal effect of our one month policy, but the
> correlation certainly motivated a change.
> Best,
> Diane
Received on Mon Dec 11 2006 - 04:22:16 GMT

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