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RE Ann's Questions. The way they have been phrased seems to be
underestimating the radicalism of the shift and not giving sufficient
weight to the positive value of market-oriented solutions.

1.  The OA view is surely that the costs of publishing the research have
essentially already been met by paying for the research. The OA 'access'
costs are, at least, an order of magnitude less than the PrintPropietary
method. So of course the costs will be covered and it may be cheaper than
the cost of posting, reading proofs, and photocopying etc in the
traditional mode.  But that will create another problem, which does not
seem to have been given enough attention.  A HUGE amount more might then
be published.  When there are no paper constraints and the costs of
publishing are now lower and simply transactional (no paper, no energy. no
space and shelving involved); so much sooner than we imagine an order of
magnitude more stuff might be 'out there' in the OA universe. Commercial
publishers may have a much reduced role in primary research publishing,
but secondary publishing (textbooks, A&I services, reference works etc)
may have an increased role to play. Some but not all of this will be OA.

2.  Institutionally based redistribution is not necessarily going to
happen.  Budgets don't work like that.  But Academic institutions will
have (already do have) enormous interests in the work of their faculty
being fully recognised.  If institutions are required to fund the most
appropriate and prestigious page charges of their faculty, they will do
this to ensure the best possible RAE ranking (RAE in the UK is 'research
assessment exercise': as groaningly bureaucratic but necessary as #can be#
for institutions being put through the Quality Assessment hoops).  Most
countries now have a similar system, formal or informal.

3. The best universities will for these reasons be happy enough to see a
significant part of their budget being given to supporting 'knowledge
transfer' through OA journals and archives. They will also favour some
market-based solutions which ensure that blatant free-riders, stay off the

The cost of scholarship and research and the cost of knowledge maintenance
and system-wide accessibility? Those costs are not going to go away,
though some parts of the process should be much cheaper than heretofore.


Adam Hodgkin
w http://www.xreferplus.com