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Re: ALPSP statement on e-publishing.

A very good point, and I agree completely. Those publishers who had
trouble automating would generally have been those which had not been
previously keeping up with the times either.

Some demonstrated it by their remaining manual operations. There was more
than one publisher which in Jan. 2002 had no better system for keeping
their e-journal customers online than having a single person going through
the subscription renewals and re-activating each of the customers, one at
a time (which took some well over a month). Some then further demonstrated
their lack of understanding of their market, by refusing to reactivate
everyone until they reached them in turn.

David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Sciences Bibliographer
Princeton University Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-7785

On Sun, 28 Apr 2002, Eric Hellman wrote:

> Peter's argument about the University of Chicago Press experience is
> incomplete without noting that the University of Chicago Press's
> production process has always been oriented towards very high-quality,
> carefully redacted titles. In other words, the electronic-first process
> saved money on a process that started out expensive.
> Many other publishers have found that in order to go electronic, they have
> had to clean up a lot of messes that the print-first process was letting
> them ignore. So, in fact they are not lying when they say electronic costs
> them more.
> I have previously observed that journal publishing is now a technology
> business, and like all other technology businesses will experience an
> exponential decline in cost of production. The chip industry has been on a
> curve of 100% improvement every 18 months; for the steel industry the rate
> has been much smaller, but constant nonetheless.
> My estimates are that per-article cost of production in journal publishing
> will decline by about 10% per year for the forseeable future. Producers
> that exceed this rate will do well, producers that lag will not do well.
> Eric