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RE: Post Brussels : Elsevier and Australian STM debate 'sprouts'

Please find a couple of comments about the Wiley Brief below.  It contains
much information of value; on one item I disagree; on another, I suspect
the situation of being much more complex than the Brief would suggest.
Ann Okerson

On Fri, 2 Mar 2007, Colin Steele wrote:

In relation to my initial EPS quote, I note that at least I am in good/bad company (depending on one's view point) given the Association of Research Libraries make similar comments in their 'Issue Brief on Wiley's acquisition of Blackwell', February 26, 2007. (http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/issue_brief_wiley_blackwell.pdf) Excerpt:

A spiral of rising prices and ongoing market concentration squeezes out support for small society journals.
AO: Ongoing market concentration is probably not the best explanation for the struggles that small journals face. Such journals, especially in the humanities, have been very low-priced, could get by with "low production values," and likely never had a built-in margin or plan for technological investment and development. Now this kind of e-transition and investment is essential for attracting readers. Where is the funding to come from? It's very difficult for a solo print journal to make those kinds of investments. (This is where economies of scale really make a difference, as all types of publishers know: the for-profits such as Wiley; the OA publishers such as Hindawi or BioMedCentral; the aggregators such as BioOne, Muse, ALPSP.) And if solo journals can't make the transition -- by whatever means -- their life span may well be limited.

It is very difficult for other publishers to start new scholarly journals in the current marketplace.
AO: I'd challenge this -- we regularly receive offers from and announcements about new entrants, at least into the e-publishing arena.