[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

I would suspect that most editors of scholarly journals do this 
as a part time situation in conjunction with their primary work 
as professors in their various fields.  The numbers of academic 
journal editors, outside of corporations and professional 
publishing, who edit journal(s) as their full time employment is 
probably very small.  Thus, I would argue, information about what 
they are paid being available probably wouldn't have much effect 
on anything.

For example, Professor X of Big Name University works as a law 
professor and gets $10,000 a year for editing the Journal of 
Silly Legal Cases on the side.  Assume he's probably making 
$150,000 a year -- the extra $10000 is just not enough, in my 
view, to either sway him not to be an editor or to demand more 
money.  His fee covers his time and trouble for the hassle of 
being an editor, but he doesn't depend on it in any real economic 
sense that matters e.g. he needs the money to buy food or pay his 
rent.  Professor X has no real economic incentive to demand 
$20,000 a year because the publisher will simply get a new editor 
-- making Professor X's cost for his demand $10,000. If you 
assume individuals act in their own economic self interest 
Professor X will go for the situation that pays him $160,000 
yearly as opposed to any situation that results in less than 
that. (And, actually, if you look into it, I would suspect that 
many people who have marketable skills (law, medicine, 
engineering) don't serve as editors simply because they can make 
more money on the side working in their field of expertise e.g. 
being a consultant, being a doctor, whatever)

Karl Bridges
Bailey Howe Library
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT  05405

Quoting Anthony Watkinson <anthony.watkinson@btopenworld.com>:

> 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.
> Anthony
> ----- 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