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Re: the Yale argument on open-choice

Why do you just assume that all non-profit publishers "will charge as much as they can in order to maximize their revenues"? I can't speak for society publishers, but this is clearly not true for university presses. If it were, the prices of our journals and books would have risen much faster over the last forty years than they have, I assure you. As parts of universities, presses are driven by other imperatives than pure revenue-maximization.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State Press

Is it not clear, though, hat price inflation is an expectedconsequence of the subscription model?

If the research community hands over ownership/exclusive rightsto publishers, it is economically predictable that publishers(whether commercial or not-for-profit) will charge as much asthey can in order to maximize their revenues. Given that theacademic community *really* needs access to that research, thereis virtually no upper bound on what publishers with enough marketpower can get away with charging for subscriptions . The naturalsolution to this is surely for the research community *not* togive away the ownership/exclusive rights to the research.

Under an open access publishing model, you immediately have amuch more effective market. The customer (the research community)can choose the publication service that offers the best value,ensuring that prices are kept down. This kind of'substitutability' generally doesn't exist with the subscriptionmodel - hence the problem of journal inflation.

Matt Cockerill
BioMed Central

On 20 Mar 2007, at 22:34, Rick Anderson wrote:

For all the many problems of the traditional model ofuser-pays publishing, it does one thing very well: it marriesthe production of information to the ability to consume it.In plain English, this is called living within a budget.
I'm not even convinced that there are many problems with thetraditional model of user-pays publishing. The model itselfworks great, as Joe points out. The problem is with priceinflation. If all journal subscriptions cost $5 per year, noone would be complaining about the subscription model.

Rick Anderson Dir. of Resource Acquisition University of Nevada, Reno Libraries rickand@unr.edu