Re: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 03:19:40 +0100

On Thu, 10 May 2007, Ian Russell, Chief Executive, ALPSP, wrote:

> ...there is now a body of evidence*
> * for example ALPSP Survey of Librarians on Factors in Journal
> Cancellation (Mark Ware, 2006) and 'Self-archiving and
> subscriptions: Co-existence or competition' (Chris Beckett and
> Simon Inger, 2006)
> to suggest that if the final, peer-reviewed publisher version of
> the article is available for free on institutional or subject
> repositories subscriptions will decline and the journals will go
> out of business. This is an intuitive result: what responsible
> librarian would spend precious money on something that is freely
> available?

(1) If/when mandated Green OA self-archiving ever makes subscriptions
unsustainable, journals will switch to Gold OA publishing (which is
another desirable outcome, over and above 100% Green OA, though not
nearly as urgent):

(2) The PRC Study that Ian Russell cites is methodologically flawed,
and does not show anything at all.

    "Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study"

> You may not be bothered that journals go out of business. Fair
> enough but then who administers and manages peer review, and
> corrects the references, and does the reference linking, and the
> other things that authors and readers expect and value?

Converting to Gold OA publishing is not going out of business, it is
simply keeping up with technology, and with what is optimal for research
productivity and progress.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 03:29:26 BST

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