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Re: Open Access and For-Pay Access (to the same IR materials)

Subsidizing peer review (that is, prepublication peer review) is like
subsidizing General Motors:  It's a holding action, intended to fend off
the inevitable.  Sooner or later GM will slide into bankruptcy or some
other form of reorganization and we will all wonder why we threw good
money after bad.  Prepublication peer review is an artifact of hardcopy
distribution, which is slow and relatively expensive. With electronic
media peer review will increasingly take place post-publication.  
Software that layers commentary upon publications will take the place of
the current peer review system.  the earliest forms of this evolving
system (which at this time is not even remotely adequate for scholarly
communications) are such things as threaded messages and blogs, which
provide a running commentary on primary publications.  Will this mean that
during the transitional period there will be lot of sloppiness and
improperly filtered publications?  You bet.  But if we weren't willing to
tolerate sloppiness, we never would have clamored for Open Access, which
is the seditious element.

Joe Esposito

On 4/27/05, David Stern <david.e.stern@yale.edu> wrote:
> Brian's model describes a scenario in which Navigational interfaces are
> marketed rather than the actual data. Enhanced access is the real value.
> This seems reasonable, if we want to remove the existing copyright
> blockage to non-commercial material. He leaves the identification of funds
> to support the data repositories out of his model, and these costs may be
> insignificant if inexpensive collaborative archival platforms are
> developed. It is important to recognize that even these reduced repository
> costs will require new funding paths and models. (Perhaps direct
> government funding a la arXiv? But this is for another message.)
> Regardless, if I read his proposal correctly, I think there is an
> underlying problem with his model:
> A primary intention of new scholarly distribution models is to identify
> revenue to support the peer review process, the most important part of
> scholarly communication.
> Under Brian's model, a non-commercial developer might be able to produce a
> less expensive version of navigational tools and drive down these costs.
> This is a good initiative, as a portion of the savings could be
> re-directed toward peer review subsidies through some unstated pathway.
> However, these navigational tools are often owned by entities unrelated to
> the peer review process -- and therefore the majority of the revenue will
> not be re-directed toward subsidizing the essential peer review costs.
> Perhaps we have done exactly the opposite of what we need: we do want to
> separate the support of peer review and data delivery -- but this model
> will emphasize the use of institutional subsidies for revised delivery and
> navigation mechanisms rather than the peer review process.
> Perhaps there is another unrelated plan for subsidizing the peer review
> process?
> It seems that this plan provides a model for organizations to pay for the
> navigational tools, but leaves out the related and high priority support
> plans for repositories and peer review.  These are parts of the existing
> subscription model and need to be addressed by any new subscription model.
> David Stern
> Director of Science Libraries and Information Services
> Kline Science Library
> 219 Prospect Street P.O. Box 208111 New Haven, CT  06520-8111
> david.e.stern@yale.edu