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Re: Revision to Physical Review B data
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: Revision to Physical Review B data
- From: David Stern <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 19:01:36 EDT
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
Mark makes many good points, and I would like to comment on his statements.
Thanks for the clarifications. I would like to point out two items which I think need further clarification though: 1) Of the 19 papers for Yale in PRB in 2004, only 6 were authors solely by Yale researchers. Using a rule of 1/5 if only one author of 5 was from Yale, I find that only 11.2 authors would have had to pay from Yale. This is almost a factor of 2 difference.
Realistically, I don't see universities dividing and sharing these costs into tiny segments for auditing and overhead reasons. There will need to be a better way to allocate shared payments from multiple grants. This is an implementation issue, rather than a serious roadblock. Either way, the costs are still significantly and unrealistically higher than present subscriptions.
2) My number was $2000 per article. Your article in Info Today stated the fee for the $850/author per paper. I am confused by your calculation below in which you seem to have resorted to $850/article. Which is correct?
My article in ONLINE (not Info Today, which is the platform) stated both the lowest cost determined by a real publisher of $850 and your estimated cost of $2000 with the more expensive elements of copy-editing and other unstated benefits. Are you stating that there is a difference between per-article and per-paper cost calculations? They should be the same thing, as the $850 per-article number assumed all costs of unaccepted manuscripts are included in the final dollar amount. I assume your $2000 figure also included all costs.
So I think you still aren't representing the true numbers. It should be noted that our analysis shows that some (might be most!) large US research institutions (what APS would call Tier 4 now) actually paid APS less money (in _unadjusted_ dollars_ even!) for their 2004 subscriptions than their 1998 subscriptions despite the fact that we now include PROLA, provide full electronic journals and linking, and publish almost 25% more pages. This is primarily due to cancellation of multiple paper subscriptions that most large institutions had. So while a changed model might mean large research institutions pay more than they are currently paying, it may not mean paying more than what they historically paid. One might question whether this "stealth" transfer of support for journal publishing away from large research institutions over the last decade was actually fair. It would be useful if Yale went back and did a retrospective study of what savings they have because of this kind of consolidation.
It seems that all libraries can find cost savings due to your technological efficiencies and new methods of manuscript delivery. This is good news, and your organization is leading the way in reducing costs. However, it is not valid to state that we should always be willing to pay what we once did. We always have new costs to allocate, and the pot of funds is not growing at the rate of inflation, never mind the profit rate of many publishers. It is our professional responsibility to look for less expensive distribution models ... as long as we don't recklessly endanger the necessary peer review aspect of good journal publishing.
The other point worth making is that while the APS journals make a good benchmark because we budget fairly close to breakeven for our journal operations, they are not the best example for figuring actual saving in a global OA model. The OA model only will work when it is applied to your most expensive (per article) journals, not your cheapest (assuming you use something like the APS benchmark to limit how much you are willing to pay in author fees - one would like to believe that commercial publishers strive for the same level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness that we have achieved at the APS). The fact that the OA model only works well if it is applied globally and with payments really set close to actual costs (and not to cover current publisher revenue/margins [and appropriately adjusted to handle non-payment by some authors]) is what makes any transition to an OA model such a difficult one.
I was using PRB for exactly the reason you state, to demonstrate that even the best model will be extremely expensive, so imagine what would happen for journals with (at least) four times the profit margin. My assumption was that if we migrate toward a break-even model such as yours, we would still need a much larger revenue base than can currently be supplied by the most significant authors and institutional producers.
Best regards, Mark Mark Doyle Assistant Director, Journal Information Systems The American Physical Society firstname.lastname@example.org ___ On Apr 16, 2005, at 12:35 PM, David Stern wrote:In response to the email of Mark Doyle on Tue, 5 Apr 2005 http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/0504/msg00389.html Mark is correct, the numbers in my Online article for Physical Review B were actually for another title. The correct numbers for PRB are below. The significant point remains the same, perhaps even more strikingly demonstrated by this larger publication: Direct author charges will be enormous and untenable for authors and their high-publication institutions if total support migrates to institutional fees. Sharing costs equally among research libraries, or using differential pricing across the largest group of libraries (including corporate libraries), is still the most efficient way to spread the real costs of the expensive peer review process. Maintaining an adequate short-term revenue stream through some sort of temporary consortial payment plan may provide us with the time we need to move toward a reasonable direct payment model, removing the redundant and inefficient method of funneling funds indirectly through universities and corporations and then to publishers. Of course we should also seek to reduce the peer review publication costs in every possible way ... see my radical "post-publication peer review model" for one example of reducing costs by reducing the number of expensive rejections. This model still allows for complete searching and archiving of submitted material that has not been nominated for the more expensive peer review process. If this distribution and peer review process were managed by non-profit editorial boards with society imprimatur, we could reduce the endless proliferation and commercialization of the publish-or-perish cycle. http://www.library.yale.edu/scilib/modmodexplain.html The numbers below show two sets of costs, one for the most efficient and documented pubilication fee announced by a library-based ejournal ($850) and the other for the PRB estimate of costs as described by Mark Doyle ($2,000). Physical Review B: 5109 articles in 2004 cost of publication = 5109 x $850/article = $4,342,650 5109 x $2000/article = $10,218,000 The current Yale expenditure is $8,740. Yale author charges for 2004 = 19 articles @ $850 = $16,150 @ $2000 = $38,000 Shared (equal) fees among multiple libraries at $850 per article * if 20 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $217,133 per year * if 60 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $72,378 per year * if 120 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $36,189 per year * if 200 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $21,713 per year at $2000 per article * if 20 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $510,900 per year * if 60 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $170,300 per year * if 120 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $85,150 per year * if 200 libraries subscribe, annual cost for each is $51,090 per year Differential pricing model: if 200 libraries share 3/4 of cost and 200 libraries cover 1/4 cost Higher cost Lower cost at $850/article $32,570 $10,856 at $2000/article $38,318 $12,773 The OA author charge numbers are frightening high for large producers, and are not predictable from year to year, as they are based upon unknown author output. The shared costs are very high, due to the smaller number of remaining subscriptions, but at least they can be budgeted. Neither seems to be a better short-term solution for any but the smallest (and corporate) libraries as we search for a more stable and less commercial model for distribution of not-for-profit scholarly material. David Stern Director of Science Libraries and Information Services New Haven, CT 06520-8111
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