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RE: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: RE: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.
- From: "Bolick, Bob" <Bob_Bolick@mcgraw-hill.com>
- Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 18:06:46 EDT
- Reply-To: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moore's law applies to computers, and empirical evidence seems to be bearing it out. I have heard of, however, no corollary nor seen any evidence that it also applies to such supply factors as writing code and Document Type Definitions (or editing and refining them when processes, content, special fonts, and style require it), converting from desktop publishing output to SGML or XML (NB: it may be different for most journal publishers, but the vast majority of scholarly book publishers and authors do not start with SGML and do not work in editing packages such as Framemaker), upgrading to new applications to run Web publishing servers, adding new search capabilities, adding new software to facilitate remote-user access, overhauling Web sites to cope with imposed standards such as P3P, and maintaining servers and software. (I won't insult anyone by adding "etc.," but I will admit to being lazy in not providing a comprehensive list.) Electronic publishing initiatives take years to move into the black, and while they are making that trek, the print analog is still required by users. Unfortunately, Moore's law does not apply to the capacity of those human beings and facilities tasked with continuing to deliver and house that print. Also, I suspect that the print analog to electronic publishing will remain in demand for at least a few more generations, and in general, professional and scholarly book publishers are still looking for the magic blend of doing both, remaining profitable, and growing sufficiently to attract the investment to keep at it. There is a bit "more" to the economics of professional and scholarly publishing, and I hope the ALPSP will elaborate on it in this thread. BobB Robert Bolick Vice President, New Business Development McGraw-Hill Professional 2 Penn Plaza, 12th Floor New York, NY 10121 T.(212) 904-5934 F.5569 M. 646-431-8121 Chairman, AAP Copyright Committee Treasurer, International DOI Foundation -----Original Message----- From: David Goodman [mailto:dgoodman@Princeton.EDU] Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 9:09 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: ALPSP statement on e-publishing. Chuck's comments are even more applicable when one realizes the decreasing cost of computers and their accessories. This is of course just Moore's law, and it applies to all computer hardware, though storage is the most dramatic example. This naturally is most dramatically shown in the decreasing cost of storage. The one thing about cost that any publisher can predict, is that the cost for storage of the material, and the computers that host them, will decrease in the future. This is probably not true for any other element of cost in their business. Therefore, to the extent that electronic publication replaces print, it will decrease publishers costs. To the extent it supplements print, the extra expense will continually decrease And it should be remembered that about 80 to 90% of the cost of a journal occurs independently of the printing or distributions since the conversion into reproducible format is now generally done in common for both means of distribution. This is the cost of reviewing, editing, and conversion into reproducible format, all important and necessary functions. It also covers the costs of sales, advertising, promotion, executive and support salaries, and so forth, which are of a somewhat lesser degree of importance. Therefore, electronic publication does not affect at least 80% of the cost, and decreases the other 20%. What is expensive is the reliance upon outside consultants and vendors of computer services; this becomes particularly expensive when the provider fails to supply adequate service and must be replaced. This is an indication that the publisher has not made competent plans; that it has invested in obsolete rather the current equipment, and trained staff knowledgeable in obsolete rather than current techniques. (I would say the same of any library that outsourced basic computer functions.) It is therefore particularly disappointing to read the arguments that Chuck mentioned, which have been proven false quite a few years ago. There are real problems in the publication industry. There are many areas where libraries and publishers need to understand each other better. There is potential for cooperation, and most of us are eager to do so. But when I read a statement like this, I wonder whether it really is possible. If this is representative, either the publishers have not yet learned enough to understand, or they take us to be fools. David Goodman Princeton University