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Re: Revision to Physical Review B data
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- Subject: Re: Revision to Physical Review B data
- From: Mark Doyle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 19:44:36 EDT
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- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, On Apr 19, 2005, at 7:01 PM, David Stern wrote:
Realistically, I don't see universities dividing and sharing these costsThanks 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.
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.
Agreed. But you can't proceed as if every institution will pay the full amount on every paper. It just weakens your argument. Factors of 2 really matter here.
Assuming the sole source of funding was library budgets, I would agree. Clearly OA requires a more thoughtful funding model/source linked moreEither way, the costs are still significantly and unrealistically higher than present subscriptions.
directly to research funding in general (where the costs still remain a
small fraction of overall research expenditures). It is a highly
non-trivial problem to rechannel funds though....
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)
My bad - sorry!
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.
The $2000 includes some margin for non-paying authors. The main issue is that you are avoiding discussions about diseconomies of scale. You can't easily compare a journal that publishes 100 papers a year with one that publishes 5000+.
Are you stating that there is a difference between per-article and per-paper cost calculations?
No, not all (I wouldn't even know what that means.) From your article: "An inexpensive OA journal based within the University of Arizona, with shared responsibilities among the faculty and the library. Estimates from the staff are $850/author per paper. There are no author charges now." To me this means if there are 2 authors, the paper would cost $1700, if 3 $2550 etc. I am confused by "$850/author per paper" and was asking for clarification.
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.
It does (including a help desk, human resources dept, benefits, a large paid editorial staff with supporting clerical staff, etc.). It isn't easy to review 27,000+ papers per year (all Phys. Rev.).
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
Note that the savings comes from the elastic costs associated with improvement in technology for archiving and distribution. These costs are already a reasonably small percentage of the per article cost and even if driven to 0 we would still be left with significant expenses. The costs associated with the peer-review process itself are almost entirely human, inelastic costs that won't diminish (unless the nature of the peer-review process itself is changed).
However, it is not valid to state that we should always be willing to pay what we once did.
I don't believe that is what I said. On the other hand, one might be willing to pay more if there were real tangible benefits (such a global open access to the research output of your institution).
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.
No argument there!
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.
That is likely true - and the revenue shouldn't come (solely) from library budgets which don't scale with research funding. A properly funded OA model (one in which the funding for OA was proportional to research funding levels at an institution) would scale correctly - right now in the subscription model you are paying to acquire (less and less) of the global research output. Anyway, the bottom line is that I think we are both in agreement that a naive OA model in which library subscriptions are simple redirected to cover OA costs won't work. The problem is much more complex than that and requires a more collaborative effort. Regards, Mark Mark Doyle Assistant Director, Journal Information Systems The American Physical Society email@example.com
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