Re: PR's 'pit bull' ... A final thought?

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <subbiah_a_at_YAHOO.COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 14:03:46 +0000

Please examine the Indian OA jounals. The two major
academies, Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian
National Science Academy, get a small grant from the
government, a part of which is used for their
journals. The print version has a small subscription
charge, but the web version is open access. IASc takes
ads in some of their journals.

MedKnow, a Bombay-based comercial firm, brings out 40
OA journals on behalf of professional societies and
colleges. All are in the medical area. The print
version of the journal is sent to all members of the
society and others are charged a subscription. The
electronic version is absolutely free. MedKnow
journals get revenue from ads. Going OA has made it
win-win for all concerned. The quality has improved,
more papers are received including many from abroad,
papers receive more citations, numbers of downloads
are very very large. For more information, please
write to r D K Sahu

NIC, a government set up, brings out a large number of
OA journals, again on behalf of mostly professional
societies. For more details, please write to Mr
Sukhdev Singh [].

[Subbiah Arunachalam]

--- "J.F.B.Rowland" <J.F.Rowland_at_LBORO.AC.UK> wrote:

> Learned Society publishers are certainly important
> in scholarly
> communication, and as Dana's figures demonstrate,
> their prices per page tend
> to be much lower than those of commercial
> publishers.
> It is important to note, though, that learned
> society journals fall into
> three categories. Large societies run their own
> in-house publishing
> operations, and in spite of their more reasonable
> prices, in the OA debate
> they have tended to side with the commercial
> publishers. This is probably
> because their publishing departments are run as
> arms-length quasi-commercial
> activities anyway, and are not run on a day-to-day
> basis by the voluntary
> officers of the society. Middle-sized societies
> often publish through a
> commercial publisher, so any statements about OA
> will tend to be made by
> their commercial partner rather than the society
> itself. Small societies
> may publish themselves on a more or less amateur
> basis, with members of the
> society doing much of the work, assisted by a small
> number of largely
> clerical/administrative staff. In my experience,
> this last group are often
> sympathetic to the principled argument for OA, but
> they can see no OA
> business model that would give them any sense of
> long-term security.
> There is a clear and urgent need for business models
> that can enable
> not-for-profit learned societies to be active in the
> long term in scholarly
> communication - which is a major reason for
> societies' existence, after
> all - in a future that is inceasingly OA, whether
> green or gold. Such
> models do not exist at present, in my view.
> Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dana Roth" <dzrlib_at_LIBRARY.CALTECH.EDU>
> To:
> Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 12:52 AM
> Subject: Re: PR's 'pit bull' ... A final thought?
> I find it somewhat surprising that there has been
> very little mention of
> the importance of scientific societies in the
> publication of their
> respective scholarship.
> I was reminded of this by an ironic news item in the
> latest Elsevier
> Library Connect newsletter
> entitled "A
> Student Perspective on the Serials Crisis".
> This article was based on a Master of Engineer
> Project in Cornell's
> School of Operations Research and Industrial
> Engineering designed as an
> "Operational Analysis of Scholarly Journal
> Publication and Access
> Alternatives in the Digital Age." Their "call to
> action was a call for
> compromise from all sides: Authors pay a little,
> libraries continue
> paying via reduced subscription fees, and publishers
> reducing fees and
> broadening revenue streams.
> This is exactly the business model currently
> followed by the
> Electrochemical Society and the Society for
> Neuroscience and was the
> general practice for society publications (e.g. ACS,
> APS) before Robert
> Maxwell and the crush of commercial journals which
> began in the 1960s.
> Because of their very modestly funded business
> model, societies were
> reluctant to publish new titles, a chore that
> commercial publishers
> relished because they did not require author page
> charges and could
> easily afford to launch new titles with revenue from
> their substantial
> profits.
> I hope we can put the 'Serials Problem' in
> perspective and recognize
> that society publishers are and will continue to be
> absolutely essential
> and that the main cause of the problem we are
> discussing is commercial
> journal profit margins.
> In this regard, compare, for example, the 2005
> price/page for:
> Inorganic Chemistry(ACS) $0.26
> Inorganica Chim. Acta(Els) $1.88
> Organic Letters(ACS) $0.65
> Tetrahedron Letters(Els) $1.60
> Biomacromolecules(ACS) $0.30
> Biopolymers(Wiley) $3.70
> The avoidance of distinguishing between society and
> commercial
> publishers seems disingenuous at best and the
> distinction must be part
> of any serious discussion. Additional data is
> available at
> Dana L. Roth
> Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
> 1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
> 626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540

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Received on Thu Feb 01 2007 - 14:36:23 GMT

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