Open Access is Good (more about idelogical purity)

From: <Jørgen>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 23:56:11 +0100

Thanks to Michael Kurtz for his attempt to increase the light against the
one and only true religion. Here I will follow with some further
First - I read about the Budapest Open Access Initiative back in 2002 and
thought it was the future. I signed the Berlin Declaration later in 2004
(I am member of the editorial board of a learned society journal that
became the first on the net in Denmark with all its articles in 2002).
Later - I met a lot of Danish Open Access fanatics - allmost all
STM-librarians - and my own enthusiasm for the word (propaganda, I
realised) Open Access calmed a lot by the meeting. They would like to
have journals for free - why should'nt librarians want that? - but they
did'nt want to hear about the situation for journals in the humanities
and the social sciences. They thought that all publishers were as bad as
Elsevier when this company was worse.
Now - we are a couples of Danish learned journals and university
publishers that soon will publish a White Paper about the situation for
the Danish journals to counter the propaganda from the Danish Open
Access-lobby. Here some results from our White Paper:
The prices: From 1969 there have been a tremedious price reduction. In
1969 the average price for a journal was allmost 1.400 Dkr. and in the
beginning of the 1980's the price was dropped to 400 Dkr. It has been on
this level since (the prices are cleaned for the inflation).
Off course this development is evident: by-by to the time consuming lead
typing and hello to offset and desk top publishing instead. But no price
Institutional Repositories: In a way IR will be fine for having the grey
litterature to be on the net. But fanatic people are trying to force
researchers at Danish universities to publish their articles from foreign
journals immediate on the IR. If that will come through the result will
be that more than the half of the Danish learned journals will die.
Allmost all those based on subscriptions will parse away in few years.
Today one university - the most pure STM - has forced their researchers
to publish their articles in the local IR. In our journal we have had to
black-list potential writers from this university if they not have their
copyrigh themselves. We did'nt like to, but if this model would go on to
the other universities in Denmark our journal would stop. Our economy is
so weak that only 20 missed subscribers will course the dead.
Libraries: Their part of the economy for the larned journals is about 7 %
of the subscriptions. Private companies and private persons are the
majority on 93 % Even if we think of a reallocation of money from the
libraries to the journals for paying the Writer Payed Open Access there
will be a lack of 93 %
Moving wall: There are discussions about ½ or one year. In some STM areas
a ½ year will be OK. For the more slow areas with a quite another logic
it had to be longer. In our journal we have a moving wall on one year,
but we think it is too shor a period (we are in a cross disciplinary
field with mainly people from the humanities and social sciences). For
instance one of the Danish 9 universities don't subscribe on our journal.
They have a member of the editorial board, there are a lot of articles in
the journal each year, articles are used in the education of the students
on the university and the researchers are using the articles. But the
library won't subscribe because it is out of money and they have our
journal after a year.
Unfortunately our White Paper will be in the Danish language. There will
be a lot of interesting thoughts. Perhapes we will publish an article
somewhere, but we - as most editors in learned journals - have our full
time work with our research. In our spare time we are helping our
community with the editorial work. After that there will not be much time
for writing articles or mails news list like this.
Jørgen Burchardt
senior researcher (and editor)
Received on Thu Mar 15 2007 - 01:48:03 GMT

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