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Stop fighting the inevitable - and free funds for open access!

There are some in the publishing community who are spending significant sums fighting open access - for example, Nature recently reported that AAP spent $300,000 - $500,000 in 2006, as reported in their article, PR's "pitbull" takes on open access - January 25, 2007.

Funds that are currently being spent fighting open access are funds that are not really needed for publishing per se, and so it is reasonable to ask, what might be accomplished if funds were redirected from fighting open access, to implementing OA?

This one expenditure by AAP is sufficient for hosting and support services for 785 open access journals using Open Journal Systems [disclosure: I work for SFU Library, one of the partners in the PKP project which produces OJS]. Note: OJS is free, open source software; this estimate reflects the fee for cost-recovery for hosting and support.

If Elsevier's annual U.S. lobbying budget were redirected to OA publishing - this would be enough for support and hosting for over 3,000 journals - much more than the 2,000 Elsevier currently produces. There is more to publishing than hosting and support, of course; but then, the U.S. is not the only country for which Elsevier has a lobbying budget.

For details and calculations, see my blogpost, "Stop fighting the inevitable - and free funds for open access! at: http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com/2007/01/stop-fighting-inevitable- and-free.html

Heather G. Morrison

Don't miss the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
July 11 - 13, 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada