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Re: Comparing Institutional Membership to Per-Article Payment

Chuck Hamaker writes:

"So Yale and Cornell and by extension all large research operations have
to make a value decision, not just a monetary decision. And that value
decision, access to the most important research is a social good, not just
a matter of dollars and cents to a single research university's library."

Chuck's very insightful response brings up an argument that I have not yet
heard voiced, that is, institutions will need to make a value decision to
support a new publishing model that may not be in their own (monetary)
best interest. To believe that OA will be cheaper for the system AND
cheaper for each producer is a willfully naive belief that ignores the
evidence -- a belief summed up by the proverb that one can have their cake
and eat it.

If we move to an OA model where institutions subsume all author costs (as
in the BMC institution membership model), this research suggests that a
per article payment model can be cheaper for those who pay the bills. But as Chuck argues, even the producer-pays model requires subsidies, and
who should pay them is a moral issue not an economic one.

--Phil Davis

At 12:35 PM 4/20/2005, you wrote:

I suggest that smaller institutions pay much more per article usage
(though they need much of the same research), than larger research
institutions and larger institutions may have other reasons to support a
system that costs them slightly more-- in order to increase exposure to
research as a public good.