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Re: Varmus in the Chronicle (RE: Copyright and OA: New YorkTimes and Chronicle of Higher Ed

I think many folks are missing the point.

Author-paid (or author's institution-paid or author's funder-paid) OA is
just another business model. Of course learned societies will adopt it if
their authors want it enough to pay for it.

The publishing expenses are likely to be similar to the those under the
subscription model. Publishers will not have to bill and collect
subscription money (although I am sure they will still market their
journals, witness TV ads for PLoS), but they will now have to bill and
collect author money.

Of course commercial publishers, smart and responsive business people as
they are, would also adopt it, if it is viable.

Does anyone think that more of the publishing dollars would not go to the
cleverest, boldest publishers just as it has done in the past under the
subscription model?

Most learned societies today are not charging more for subscriptions and,
as FF says below, are not likely to charge more to authors. Does that mean
authors will always select the cheapest? Do they ask their libraries to
select the cheapest subscriptions? Where will the readers go? Will they
care which freely available OA journal charges authors less?

The next few years of OA will be an interesting exercise in marketing and
the economics of the market, if author-paid OA survives.

Marc H. Brodsky
Executive Director and CEO         E-mail: brodsky@aip.org
American Institute of Physics       Phone: (301) 209-3131
One Physics Ellipse                       Fax: (301) 209-3133
College Park, MD 20740-3843

>>> ucylfjf@ucl.ac.uk 01/27/04 04:06PM >>>

Harold Varmus is right. Maybe his remarks were not reported in full. You
know how journalists cut to the bone! There is no reason why learned
societies should not continue their academic activities under an open
access model, receiving as much income from publication-payments as they
currently receive from subscriptions. Admittedly they will be in a
competitive situation and if they try to charge publication-payments
higher than comparable learned societies, they will lose out, but most
learned societies will not be in the business of charging high
publication-payments for open access. The business model for each learned
society has to be considered separately and for some there may be
alternative sources of income they can develop.

Fred Friend

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Anderson" <rickand@unr.edu>
To: "liblicense-l" <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 7:57 PM
Subject: Varmus in the Chronicle (RE: Copyright and OA: New York Times and
Chronicle of Higher Education)

> Reading Guterman's fine article in the Chronicle, I was struck by this
> paragraph:
> "Dr. Varmus responds, 'It pains me to hear officers of scientific
> societies say, "We can't move to open access because our society will
> fold."' He urges them to adapt to any loss of subscription income by
> finding other ways to raise revenues. 'They shouldn't be surviving by
> denying to their members the virtues of Internet-based open-access
> publication,' he says."
> I don't know Dr. Varmus -- is his attitude really this breezy and
> unrealistic?  "Just find the money somewhere else" strikes me as a
> less-than-helpful response to the real-world economic concerns of
> societies for which journal subscriptions have been a major (and perhaps
> THE major) source of revenue.
> -------------
> Rick Anderson
> rickand@unr.edu