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RE: Monopolies in publishing

On Mark's two points:

1. I recognise that open access journals may have a peer review process.
However academics, their institutions and the funders (compare the
quinquennial Research Assessment Exercise in the UK) give more weight to
the established journals.  Whether this will change over time I do not
know.  Currently the rewards - for academics and their institutions -
follow publication in the established commercials jnls.  These journals
have an effective monopoly on validation because of recognition by the

2. We pay the publishers for the validation - it is part of the package;
that the publishers do not pass such payment on is another reflection of
the weakness of the academic community.

With best wishes

David Ball
Associate Head of Academic Services
(University Librarian)
Bournemouth University

From:	Mark Funk [SMTP:mefunk@mail.med.cornell.edu]
Sent:	14 July 2003 00:25
To:	liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject:	RE: Monopolies in publishing

David Ball suggests that commercial publishers have a near-monopoly on
validation, through the editorial process, and that this process is what
we pay for. Open access does not necessarily mean "no refereeing." It can
mean that, but most of the open access models we are discussing (BioMed
Central, PLoS, etc.) have in place the exact same validation process that
traditional journals use: articles are submitted to editors, who assign
referees to evaluate and make suggestions for improvement. After revisions
are made and approved, the article is accepted and published. There is no
monopoly on the validation process.

Also, I would disagree with the statment that we are paying for this
process, and that dissemination is secondary. Except for stipends, or
perhaps a small salary paid to the journal editor (who is usually an
academician), referees are not paid for their services. This is the most
important part of peer review, and the publisher pays nothing for this to
claim they have high costs for the editorial review process is a gross
exaggeration at best.

At 12:01 AM -0400 7/11/03, David Ball wrote:
>An interesting dimension is of course the commercial publishers' effective
>near-monopoly on validation (through the editorial process).  It's this
>validation that authors and their institutions want, and which we have to
>pay for.  Dissemination is secondary.


>Until this near-monopoly is broken open access journals will not compete
>with commercial publishing.