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Re: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

I accept most of your argument, in theory at least.  However, I suspect
you are still confusing COST per article with PRICE per article.  
Publishers need to cover overheads and, in almost all cases, to make some
kind of surplus or profit - if only for reinvestment to keep the business
going. APS is exceptional in being required to do no more than break even
- I assume its investment funds, when required, come from other Society

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>; <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2004 5:36 AM
Subject: RE: PNAS Introduces Open Access Publishing Option

> based on your reply, I am not overstating the case. Actually doing the
> arithmetic, I was understating it.
> First we can save 5 to 10 percent at the library end and 5 to 10 percent
> at the publisher end, You accepted both figures.
> The average current cost of producing articles roughly seems to be
> on their own estimates in the UK hearings--I am deliberately using very
> wide ranges to accomodate all opinions).
> You accepted that costs similar to the APS were possible in an optimized
> system. If all publishers produced journals at the APS figure of $1500
> (without even allowing for the additional improvements you realistically
> expect), then the average cost for a 50:50 mix of commercial and
> noncommercial, using the average self-estimated costs for each, would go
> from $4125 to $1500 (the extremes are $6000 to $1500 using the highest
> cost estimates, and $2250 to $1500 using the lowest). That's an average
> savings of 55 percent, with the extremes being 33 percent and 75 percent
> The average overall cost saving would therefore be on average 70 percent,
> with the extremes being 43 percent and 95 percent.
> The APS price decreases prove their figure to be real. The only way the
> reasoning could be wrong, is if other publishers could not produce
> journals as efficiently as the APS. But even if cost per article went from
> $4125 to just $3000, the savings would still be at least 37 percent!
> Since with OA journals the papers will go to those with the most
> competitive price, a publisher that truly finds it cannot meet the market
> price will soon not be in business, The industry as a whole need not
> worry--libraries will do everything possible to use the entire cost saving
> to buy additional publications. Until I encountered this situation, I did
> not realize that the capitalist free market could produce such benefits to
> every party.
> And until I did the arithmetic, I did not realize we could save so much.
> Dr. David Goodman
> dgoodman@liu.edu