Re: Kathryn Sutherland's Attack on OA in the THES

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 10:32:55 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Colin Smith at Open University

I've just realised I quoted the wrong day in the email I just sent to
the forum. It should have been Mon 11 May, not Fri. If this reaches
in time, please correct it during moderation.

On Mon 11 May 2009 at 09:27 Sally Morris wrote:

      While Andrew Adams' letter makes some valid points, I
      would like to

      point out that the number of articles per author has not
      changed over

      many years (Tenopir and King have excellent data on
      this).  Thus neither

      'publish or perish' nor 'greedy publishers' have
      contributed in any way

      to the steady growth (not 'explosion') of research
      articles - it simply

      reflects growth in research funding, and thus number of

Even if the number of articles per author has not changed
surely the issue here is the number of journals in which those
are published? Is there any data on this? If the steady growth in
articles is being spread thinly across a larger number of titles then
this could be interpreted as evidence for the needless launch of new
journals in a saturated market.

Anecdotally, I seem to come across more and more journals publishing
issues in one, presumably because of a lack of copy-flow. Indeed, I
worked for at least one publisher where a decision was taken to
an (unconvincing) niche in the market by launching a new journal,
instead of looking to enhance the editorial content of an existing
title. That journal then struggled for copy, publishing very thin or
joint issues, but generated more income than if the publisher had
accommodated the extra papers by increasing the size or number of
of an (appropriate) existing journal.

Colin Smith
Research Repository Manager
Open Research Online (ORO)
Open University Library
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Received on Fri May 15 2009 - 15:33:45 BST

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