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ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- To: "'Sally Morris'" <email@example.com>, "Liblicense-L (E-mail)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- From: "Hamaker, Chuck" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 22:48:10 EDT
- Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
Sally: I read with interest the executive summary of the new ALPSP report on authors and electronic publishers. I have a question about an assertion in the article "Electronic Publishing and Learned Societies" - http://www.alpsp.org/epub_learnsoc.pdf an ALPSP paper for the Research Support Libraries Group ..a [PDF]pdf file on the ALPSP site Here's the statement I'm interested in: "However, electronic publishing has been found to bring substantial (and continuing) new costs; the creation and maintenance of an appropriate system to hold and provide access to content is an expensive business. We know, too, that the costs of long-term preservation will be substantial and are likely to impact everyone in the information chain. For most learned journals, with circulations of under 1000, the savings on manufacturing, materials and distribution costs form a negligible percentage of total costs. Additional costs are incurred for as long as customers require both print and electronic versions; we are lobbying to remove the VAT problem which contributes to libraries' reluctance to abandon print, but insecurity about long-term access and preservation, and users' own preferences, are also factors." Does ALPSP have documentation for the "substantial(and continuing) new costs"statement? PC's and servers, it seems to me are a part of the normal cost of doing business for many businesses in the current era. Has someone teased out the costs for new initiatives in electronic publishing as opposed to the ongoing investment for new technology that would be normal? And has that new investment that is distinct from the ongoing costs of doing business,-the statement seems to suggest- resulted in substantial cost that indeed is on top of the ongoing costs of the "old" system? What does substantial mean? Most western businesses and institutions have made the leap from typewritters to pcs on staff desks, and though they cost more, and have to be upgraded regularly, they are a cost of doing business, not a "new cost" for new product, except it's easier to create "new products" than it had been with typewriters. So, how has ALPSP or its members accounted for these costs. Are we talking about investments that had to be made even to maintain the "old" way of doing business? What can actually be imputed to the "new" products. Publishers are famous for assinging costs of various things to their titles, so I wonder if there is real evidence that these expenses have to do with new products, as opposed to what had to be done to keep the paper flowing. I suspect the situation is a bit murkier than the sentence suggests,does ALPSP have hard data on this assertion, and has it been shared, published, etc.? I'm just not sure that the new processess didn't have to be gone into just to survive, even if there were no electronic product in the end. thank you. Chuck Hamaker Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services Atkins Library University of North Carolina Charlotte 704 687-2825