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Re Matt Cockerill's comments

This is a remarkably ironic comment from the publisher who is 
constantly trying to raise the Author Pay Charge on BMC journals. 
Authors are also customers and therefore, under conditions where 
publishers "will charge as much as they can in order to maximize 
their revenues,... The customer (the research community" 
including Authors) "can choose the publication service that 
offers the best value,"  so that when BMC finally raises the APC 
on all of its journals, the only Authors who will find value in 
new journals without an established reputation will be those who 
need to publish at any price.

A reasonable goal is that the article, not the journal, is the 
unit of scientific quality, analogous to the trend towards 
downloading of single songs rather than the sale of albums in the 
music world.  Although this will never be universal and authors 
may continue to be willing to pay for being published in prestige 
journals, high author fees will not generally be considered good 

In the end, the implementation of OA will be with efficient 
operations like Scholarly Exchange or those who use OJS.  This 
will require more investment of energy at startup by the editors 
but in the end BMC will provide only a limited solution to the 
publication problem by substituting avarice at a different point 
than than the subscription end.

Richard D. Feinman, Co-editor-in-chief
Nutrition & Metabolism ( http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/home )

Articles published within a day or two of acceptance.
Indexed PubMed, PubMed Central, ISI Thomson.


"Matthew Cockerill" <matt@biomedcentral.com>
03/21/07 06:03 PM
Please respond to liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject Re: the Yale argument on open-choice

Is it not clear, though, that price inflation is an expected 
consequence of the subscription model?

If the research community hands over ownership/exclusive rights 
to publishers, it is economically predictable that publishers 
(whether commercial or not-for-profit) will charge as much as 
they can in order to maximize their revenues. Given that the 
academic community *really* needs access to that research, there 
is virtually no upper bound on what publishers with enough market 
power can get away with charging for subscriptions . The natural 
solution to this is surely for the research community *not* to 
give away the ownership/exclusive rights to the research.

Under an open access publishing model, you immediately have a 
much 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 subscription 
model - hence the problem of journal inflation.

Matt Cockerill
BioMed Central