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Open Source software for journals

I suspect Anthony said "open source" when he meant "noncommercial." Jean-Claude is clearly correct that many open source software projects are every bit as robust as proprietary software. Indeed, in the world of managing online journals, I doubt any software service is failing to use at least some open source software in their offerings. What is true, however, is that the concommercial and free software solutions lack the features of the commercial services, and this gap is widening every day.

Advocates of open access publishing who see in noncommercial software a way to reduce their costs will be stuck with inferior services. Even in the commercial world there is a trend for publishers to "trade up" from weak platforms to stronger ones. The notion of hosting a journal on a cheap Linux box with a part-time sysadmin (put forth on this list a while back) is hopelessly romantic.

Joe Esposito

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jean-Claude =3D?ISO-8859-1?Q?Gu=3DE9don?=3D"
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2007 6:38 PM

This is an incredible perception. Just for starters, try OpenOffice and Firefox and remember that they both are open source software.

A great many tools to publish, including publishing in XML format, and not simply pumping out pdf files, exist and they are open source.

PKP and the OJS platform is just one (excellent) example of such platforms.

Learned bodies and competittive environments have little to do with the realities of open source these days.

Jean-Claude Guedon

Anthony Watkinson a ecrit:

I am afraid the free Open Source software does not deliver the sort of functionality that the learned bodies many of us work for and the editors they appoint are looking for in a highly competitive situation. Or at least this is the perception of the scholarly individuals all publishers are dependent on.

I have not personally looked into the matter so all I can quote is perceptions. Have you yourself Heather actually tried out these different systems? I have not seen an analysis of electronic manuscript submissions systems since the excellent one by Mark Ware.

How many large journals are hosted on Scholarly Exchange? It would be good if a library-run and highly successful organisation like HighWire could explain to this list why learned bodies come to them rather that use these cheap alternatives. After all Stanford University Libraries are hardly red-in-tooth-and-claw "traditional" publishers - but their services are not cheap.

Both not-for-profit and commercial publishers really do try to keep their costs down. They need to do. They are businesses.

They are also in a competitive situation. They compete for the best journal editors and the top authors and both these categories of academics expect the best support that can be provided.

The fact that we are in a sort of arms race may be unpalatable and unfortunate but it is a fact.