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RE: Post Brussels : the economics of editors

There are other tangible rewards for editors of some commercial 
journals, such as trips to foreign places, sometimes with 
spouses, prestigious dinner engagements at high-end restaurants; 
world class amenities, hotels, museums, etc expenses paid--beyond 
any direct remuneration, which also can be extensive in 
individual cases.

Chuck Hamaker
Associate University Librarian Collections and Technical Services
Atkins Library
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Charlotte, NC 28223
phone 704 687-2825

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Phil Davis
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 6:37 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Post Brussels : the economics of editors

Imperfect information allows for market inefficiencies, but in 
this case, Joe is forgetting that editors derive as much (or 
more) from their relationships with publishers than the often 
mediocre honoraria they receive in return.  Editors are mostly 
paid in an abstract commodity called "prestige", which can be 
translated into worldly goods within the academy (advancement, 
grants and awards, people) and let us not forget the powerful 
position of being a gatekeeper of what is published.  We cannot 
simply consider editors to be employees of a publishing house. 
Such a narrow view only focuses on monetary transaction between 
the two actors and ignores the more valuable transfer of 

--Phil Davis

At 09:22 PM 3/4/2007, you wrote:
>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, 
>Joe Esposito