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RE: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study


Needless to say that I disagree that the methodology deployed by 
Beckett and Inger is flawed - quite the opposite.  It is rigorous 
with the limits set out and I would encourage interested parties 
to actually read it (or the recently produced summary available 
from http://www.publishingresearch.net/) themselves and form 
their own opinion.

You have publicly acknowledged subscription cancellation is a 
probable outcome of self-archiving so why keep arguing?  You and 
I can keep rehearsing the same arguments, but I am not sure it 
takes us any further forward.

It may be that producer pays publishing is a viable option in 
some fields now, and that it may be for others in the future. 
In disciplines where research is a big budget activity like high 
energy physics or bio-medicine it could indeed be true that 
dissemination may cost as little as 1-2% of [those very large] 
research budgets.  In maths, ecology, history etc, etc, etc the 
proportion of the current research funding needed to cover 
dissemination costs will be much greater - possibly greater than 
100% (on the fairly safe assumption that the absolute cost of 
dissemination is roughly equivalent across disciplines).  I 
therefore think it unlikely that producer pays publishing will be 
viable across all fields.

So what then?  (this is a rhetorical question)

If producer pays publishing is the end game, and self archiving a 
means to that end (as your post would suggest), then why not 
spend your time arguing for money to clearly and unambiguously 
made available for producer pays publishing rather than frittered 
away on a system of institutional repositories which are probably 
not an efficient way of organizing and, by your own argument, 
certainly will have no long-term value (given that they won't be 
needed in a fully producer pays world).

Ian Russell

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu [mailto:owner-liblicense-
> l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
> Sent: 13 May 2007 14:51
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC
> Study
> On Thu, 10 May 2007, Ian Russell, Chief Executive, ALPSP, wrote:
>> ...there is now a body of evidence* * for example ALPSP Survey 
>> of Librarians on Factors in Journal Cancellation (Mark Ware, 
>> 2006) and 'Self-archiving and subscriptions: Co-existence or 
>> competition' (Chris Beckett and Simon Inger, 2006) to suggest 
>> that if the final, peer-reviewed publisher version of the 
>> article is available for free on institutional or subject 
>> repositories subscriptions will decline and the journals will 
>> go out of business.  This is an intuitive result: what 
>> responsible librarian would spend precious money on something 
>> that is freely available?
> (1) If/when mandated Green OA self-archiving ever makes 
> subscriptions unsustainable, journals will switch to Gold OA 
> publishing (which is another desirable outcome, over and above 
> 100% Green OA, though not nearly as urgent):
> http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmsctech/399/39 
> 9we152.htm
> (2) The PRC Study that Ian Russell cites is methodologically
> flawed, and does not show anything at all.
>      "Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study"
>      http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/162-guid.html
>> You may not be bothered that journals go out of business.
>> Fair enough but then who administers and manages peer review,
>> and corrects the references, and does the reference linking,
>> and the other things that authors and readers expect and value?
> Converting to Gold OA publishing is not going out of business, it
> is simply keeping up with technology, and with what is optimal
> for research productivity and progress.
> Stevan Harnad