Re: OA in High Energy Physics Arxiv Yields Five-Fold Citation Advantage

From: Sally Morris <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 21:40:19 +0100

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I merely reported what I was told by my IOPP contacts; clearly, however,
not everyone there agreed with that view. I can't cite it because I can't
now find it (I no longer have access to all the documents I had as ALPSP
CEO); I don't see the point in retracting it because I believe that I
accurately reported what I was told. Clearly Alma feels she did the same.

We can speculate until we're blue in the face, but whether or not green OA
does, in the end, damage subscription journals, of course, only time will


Sally Morris

South House, The Street

Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK

Tel: +44(0)1903 871286

Fax: +44(0)8701 202806


-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Alma Swan
Sent: 21 July 2009 13:32
Subject: Re: OA in High Energy Physics Arxiv Yields Five-Fold Citation

> Since my informants are no longer at IOP, I can't give you chapter and
> verse, but assure you I'm not making it up (and it was about
> I recall a speaker at an ALPSP seminar telling us much the same story for
> London Mathematical Society journals.

My concern is not about whether *you* make things up but about the fact that
yesterday on this list you told everyone that *I* do.

What my informant (undoubtedly the same individual as your informant) at
IOPP also volunteered, and which I also reported at the time, was that the
rate of subscription attrition had remained the same for *all* IOPP journals
over the time arXiv had been in existence, hence no arXiv-specific effect
was apparent. That is, IOPP publishes many journals outside the fields
covered by arXiv and they, too, were experiencing subscription attrition (at
the same rate as those in fields covered by arXiv.

I append below some other quotes provided to me and approved for publication
by the two physics society publishers at the time. Readers can then decide
for themselves whether those two societies were saying that self-archiving
was threatening their business [by undermining subscriptions], or not:

Institute of Physics Publishing:
"IOPP's experience as a learned society publisher illustrates the strong
synergies and mutual benefits that currently exist between major
peer-reviewed journals, such as our Classical and Quantum Gravity, and the
arXiv e-print server. Both systems continue to serve the scientific
community very effectively. Journals act as the "brand", setting standards
for scientific quality. Our authors and editors tell us that they value
publishing in a peer-reviewed journal because this continues as an essential
requirement for establishing reputation and authority of the research they
publish. Whilst posting an pre-print or post-print is becoming more of an
essential in some areas of the physics community for immediate and wide
dissemination. We do not see the arXiv or repositories threatening our

N.B. Since then, the IOPP has established, and manages, the UK's mirror site
for arXiv.

The APS (American Physical Society):
³We don't consider it [arXiv] a threat. We expect to continue to have a
symbiotic relationship with arXiv. As long as peer review is valued by the
community (and it seems to be), we will be doing peer review.²
³ [We have] tried to cooperate closely with arXiv including establishing a
mirror (jointly with Brookhaven National Laboratory)... We also revised our
copyright statement to be explicitly in favor of author self-archiving.
These efforts strengthened (rather than weakened) Physical Review D [an APS
journal that covers high-energy physics] ?..I would say it is likely we
maintained subscriptions to Physical Review D that we may otherwise have
lost if we hadn't been so pro-arXiv ?.²

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK
Received on Wed Jul 22 2009 - 00:38:03 BST

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