Open Access Books

From: Jean Kempf <Jean.Kempf_at_UNIV-LYON2.FR>
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 19:20:01 +0100

From Jean Kempf
Status: O
Message-ID: <>

Director of Presses Universitaires de Lyon

Dear all,
Just to add my bit to the discussion started on OA books and pbs raised.
First a piece of info : a consortium of 6 European university publishers
(OAPEN) comprising Amsterdam UP, Göttingen UP, Firenze UP, Manchester UP,
Museum TUsculanum Press (Copenhagen), and Presses Universitaires de Lyon has
just been formed to develop tools and methods for E-publishing of
"monographs" (given that the very concept changes with e-content) cum PoD in
OA. We have applied to the EU E-Content Plus program for support and are
waiting for the return of the expert reviews.
In any case most of us in the consortium already pratice digital publishing
of monographs on trial and error basis and the idea is now to move onto a
much more "industrial" level with real methods and monitoring of practices
to determine the best ones for us and the rest of the community.
We are all committed to OA and our experience is that it does not hamper the
book publishing activity for not-for-profit publishers, but that it indeed
"clarifies issues".

First : Academic publishing is a service 1) which must be part of a
university "general scholarly policy" and 2) whose cost must be integrated
in research funding. In any case (in France and I hear elsewhere as well,
most books are published partly on an author-pay scheme. In France as
Thierry Chanier wrote the fee is between 1k and 3k E paide from various

Second the fact that pirates, and other trawlers, haunt the seas of academia
is a fact. Everyday colleagues receive proposals from such operators, and
they sometimes fall a prey to them, mostly from lack of information on . . .
OA and quite frankly on publishing as a whole. (Which reinforces my concern
that forums such as Berlin meetings and others should be less gatherings of
converts but more ways of attracting researchers and training them, making
them aware of the publication world (in general).)
But hiring and funding committees are made of peers and know how to sift
"(real)publishers" from "printers".

Third : I think Jean-Claude said it all : "Using CC with a no-commercial
clause should take care of this problem" (which send us back to the previous

Fourth : when publishers go fully OA digital AND paper, then the question of
archiving will be solved by the publisher's site, the author's
self-archiving being a replication of the authorized version. And, as we
(publishers) try to produce digital versions that are enhanced (using web 2
tools, etc.) the whole system changes and the publisher becomes again, pre-
and post- publishing, the center of a real intellectual activity which they
should never have ceased to be. And as publishing means for an author
acquiring a part of the reputation of a house by being coopted, and thus
being able to trade that symbolical capital ELSEWHERE (academic books have
never mad authors rich), then your house, if it is "valuable" becomes the
focus of interest and money comes to money.

I strongly believe that in the field of digital space Gresham's law (often
misconstrued by the way) becomes : "GOOD money drives out BAD money".

best to all
Received on Sat Dec 08 2007 - 18:35:32 GMT

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