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Re: Varmus in the Chronicle

You may well be right, David.  But it isn't the way it looks to the small
societies that I was talking to.  Their financial data show that personal
subs *are* carrying a share of the first-copy costs of the journals.

I'm also not sure about public subsidy for societies.  One of a society's
virtues is its independence - the fact that it is clearly *not* a creature
of government.  The not-for-profit sector is an important third force in
society, alongside the public and private sectors.  And of course,
for-profit publishers complain that the not-for-profits are already
subsidised, by their tax exemptions.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goodman" <David.Goodman@liu.edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>; <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 12:21 AM
Subject: RE: Varmus in the Chronicle

> The problem Fytton mentions does not become more acute under open access,
> it vanishes. In general, member subscriptions are sold at the incremental
> price of printing the additional copies; they do not pay the 80% of the
> cost that goes into editing and producing the journal (I realize this is a
> very rough approximation, and may not apply to all societies.)  Any small
> contribution made to the costs of preparing the journal will be easily
> covered by properly adjusted submission fees. (One approach might be lower
> fees for members.) Further, many members will elect to pay a surchange for
> print (at least for small journals).
> (It can also be argued that a society which one joins only to get a
> journal may be of dubious usefulness in the first place.)
> But the solution that Varmus orginally proposed when he was at NIH is the
> simplest and the best: The real contribution that small societies make to
> science can best be paid for by a direct subsidy.  In an open system like
> ours', the cost should be recognized as part of the overall cost of doing
> science.
> David Goodman
> Palmer Schoool of Library & Information Science, LIU