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

As a publisher (of journals as well as books) and as co-director of the Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing at Penn State, where we are developing with the support of a Mellon grant jointly with Cornell an open-source journal publishing platform known as DPubs, I find this a peculiar calculation of the cost of operating a journal. Surely, Heather Morrison knows better than to suggest that it only costs $509 to run a journal even using a "free" open-source system like OJS. Then what is the purpose of making such a claim, other than providing more propaganda for OA, denigrating further the Elseviers of the world, and trying to fool some people who may not know better? If we are going to engage in rational discussion of the pros and cons of OA, we need to get beyond simplistic analyses like this.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State Press

Sanford G. Thatcher, Director
Penn State University Press
University Park, PA 16802-1003
e-mail: sgt3@psu.edu

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

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

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

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

For details and calculations, see my blogpost, "Stop fighting
theinevitable - and free funds for open access!

Heather G. Morrison