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

Actually Joe I think that publishers do not post on such matters is because they know other publishers are lurking there and do not want to expose their policies to their rivals. I suspect very few editors read this list.

As I am posting from my home office and work part-time and not in a senior position for a publisher I feel able to say more than I would if I was CEO of Elsevier.

I notice that Sally Morris gives more detail about policies that sound very similar to those I am used to, though, since her time as a publisher, heavy technology items like manuscript submission systems have added to the editorial costs never mind reluctance of universities to continue funding.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Esposito" <espositoj@gmail.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 2:22 AM
Subject: Re: Post Brussels : Elsevier and Australian STM debate 'sprouts'

So here we have in Colin Steele's post a perfect illustration of why the theory of "non-rival goods," beloved by economists, does not apply to information. Steele tells the world that publishers pay authors and reviewers nothing or almost nothing, and publishers say barely a word in their defense. Why? Because to acknowledge (the truth) that many editors receive small sums and a lucky few princely payments would encourage more editors to demand more, and the more they get, to the extent that this fact is publicized, the more they will demand. Thus publishers conceal the information because it is better to be misunderstood than to be poor.

The value of the information as to what is actually going on disappears when the information is widely available. Sometimes information gains in value when it is widely shared (e.g., advertising), sometimes the value is in withholding it from others. Think about buying or selling a stock: Should you share what you know? Open Access advocates may like to add this item to their simulations.

Anthony Watkinson is of course correct on the point about editorial remuneration, though why he should become a turncoat to the brotherhood of self-interested publishers, I cannot imagine. You shall not dine on the flesh of authors this season, Anthony!

Joe Esposito