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Re: Berkeley faculty statement on scholarly publishing

The Berkeley Senate resolution is not unreasonable, but one expects more
of eminent scholars than relying on recycled and misleading OA propoganda
from the the popular media.

"the faculty acted after determining that the subscription price of a
single journal may be higher that the price of an automobile and that
researchers here and globally are being priced out of the discoveries in
many fields."

The automobile analogy originated with PLoS, but it is apparently so
catchy that many reporters have picked it up.

For example, Pamela Burdman wrote in the New York Times last year, "Access
to Brain Research goes for $21,269, around the price of a Toyota Camry

In March, San Francisco Chronicle writer Charles Burress observed, "The
companion journals Nuclear Physics A & B cost the same as a 2004 Toyota
Camry sedan -- $23,820."

The Toyota Camry, it seems, is the journalists' preferred benchmark of
journal pricing.

Let's be honest, Berkeley faculty:  Using the example of a journal like
Brain Research as evidence of the high price of journals is like using the
price of a Ferrari to complain about the rising price of cars. Brain
Research, at 81 times the cost of the average nonprofit journal, is among
the most expensive journals available*and includes not a typical 12 or 24
issues, but 135 issues spread among six journals.

Peter Banks
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
FAX 703/683-2890
Email: pbanks@diabetes.org