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Re: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

See comments interspersed below

Sally Morris, Chief Executive
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
E-mail:  chief-exec@alpsp.org

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Goodman" <David.Goodman@liu.edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 6:05 AM
Subject: RE: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

> Sally,
> Another certain cost savings is the savings to both libraries and
> publishers of the need to maintain access control system, subscription
> departments, and so on.
> For a library, the savings will be small when it applies to only a few
> journals; it would be much larger if it were universal. The number of
> staff in a typical large library handling electronic access and journal
> subscriptions may be in the range 5 to 10; some would still be needed for
> non-electronic material.  A typical agent's fee for scientific periodicals
> has been in the range of 3 to 6 percent. I thus estimate the library-side
> savings at 5%.

I quite agree;  very few writers talk about library costs and savings.  An
estimate of the potential savings to libraries of a move to electronic-only
on its own (without open access) would be interesting.

> For a publisher, it would be very small unless all its publications were
> OA. Publishers have often added a 10% or 15% "platform fee" for electronic
> access, and paper distribution is usually figured to be between 2 and 3
> times as expensive as electronic. (See Fred Friend's posting of this
> date). I have been estimating a total of 10% savings on the publisher
> side, but would be glad of a more exact estimate from those more
> knowledgeable.

Agreed.  The Wellcome report makes allowance for this (modest) saving though
it does not make entirely clear how much

> There is also the possible savings if competition for authors brings all
> publishers to the efficiency of the American Physical Society, at about
> $1500 an article. I don't attempt now to estimate this, because it's much
> more speculative.  Yes, these are not very large savings. Very large
> savings are not to be looked for from OA journals. Other forms of OA may
> have significantly lower cost. The argument for OA journals is not cost
> alone, but the superior and more equitable access, combined with modest
> cost savings.  I think, Sally, that you agree with that conclusion?

Yes, these process savings are becoming possible (and, again, have nothing
to do with OA).   So maybe we are agreed that when you said we can 'reduce
the costs significantly' you were overstating the case?

> Dr. David Goodman
> dgoodman@liu.edu

> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Sally Morris
> Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 12:21 AM
> Subject: Re: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option
> David, where is your evidence that we can 'reduce the costs
> significantly'? Electronic-only makes a saving; efficiencies (as with the
> APS) can make some further savings.  But other than that?
> Sally Morris, Chief Executive