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RE: Looking an open access gift horse in the mouth

Jan, the revised BMC institutional pricing model you mention is very
interesting.  Could you elaborate on the details of the formula you
propose and when it will take effect?  In the next iteration of your
pricing model, institutions who publish more in BMC journals will be
charged more (but by how much?).  I don't think this was made public on
the outset of your company's model. --Phil Davis

At 05:31 PM 2/4/2004 -0500, you wrote:

Membership rates are set on the basis of an estimate of the number of
published articles likely to come out of a given institution. Initially,
that estimate can only be roughly based on the size of the researcher
'population' working in the biomedical research disciplines at that
institution. With each year, though, a more accurate picture emerges,
although that picture will obviously always lag behind the reality of the
current year in a situation of growing awareness and acceptance of Open
Access. Our thinking is that we correct the membership fee for each
individual institution after we have more accurate estimates of the number
of articles that can realistically be expected, using the number of
published articles from that institution over the last full year as a
benchmark. Our thinking is also that we will count every published article
as one, irrespective in which journal it is published, and do not
introduce a weighting according to the higher Article Processing Charges
for the few very selective journals. See that as a benefit of membership.
It is also an administrative simplification that allows us to keep
overheads as low as possible and as a consequence, the APCs as well. In
spite of ill-informed criticisms that what we charge must be too little to
make the operation sustainable, we know that we can do it if we reach a
certain scale. We are firmly on track to reach that requisite scale. We
even hope to be able to make the average charges lower, with time, if
economies of scale allow.