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re: AAUP Statement on Open Access

Just for clarification, AAUP could provide only information on book sales because it does not track information on journal sales in any detailed way. It is there inaccurate to conclude that "the largest portion of operating costs is from booksales" as a generalization. This is true, by definition, for the university presses that publish no journals. It is likely not true for presses that have very large journal programs, relative to the size of their book programs, like Chicago and Johns Hopkins.

It is, of course, true that the AAUP statement "has very limited relevance" to the core debate on STM journals, simply because AAUP member presses publish relatively few STM journals.

The point, however, is to widen the debate. Why should open access be a concern only for STM journals? Isn't it important to foster greater access to knowledge in the humanities and social sciences, too? At least publications in those fields are likely to be able to be better understood by lay people than the often highly esoteric and technical publications in the STM fields! :)

Sandy Thatcher, Director
Penn State University Press

The AAUP Statement on Open Access has very limited relevance
todiscussions on policy for open access to the peer-reviewedresearch
results, such as FRPAA.

The focus of open access policy is the journal article, while
theAAUP Statement mixes all types of publications, and
refersspecifically to monographs.

For example, the summary states (3rd paragraph):  open accessneed
not be limited to journals

The Statement (page 3) presents the very interesting informationthat
the average production cost for a monograph is about $25,000-
$30,000 (and would be $20,000 - $25,000 with no print costs).

Statement 4) states that 90% of the operating costs of
universitypresses, about $500 million, is derived from sales.  Of
the $500million, about 15% - 20% are from library sales, while the
restcomes from general and college bookstores, online retailers,
anddirectly to individual scholars.

It seems that the largest portion of operating costs is from
booksales.  This is an area that would not be at all impacted by
openaccess requirement policies by funders, such as FRPAA.

This e-mail reflects my personal opinion only, and does notreflect
the opinion or policy of BC Electronic Library Network orSimon
Fraser University Library.

Heather Morrison, M.L.I.S.
Project Coordinator, BC Electronic Library Network