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RE: Should university presses adopt an OA model for all of their s=

This discussion has taken some interesting directions, and I
personally find the differences in estimated average costs quite
fascinating, but not actually very surprising.

However, one of the things I keep wondering about is the strong
attraction exhibited, by some at least, to finding ways of
holding out-of-pocket scholarly publishing costs to the absolute
minimum possible? What does that say about our sense of
priorities as a society?

It all reminds me of that slogan from the 60's, "It'll be a great
day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air
Force has to hold bake sales to buy a new bomber..." or something
like that.

If scholarly communication is important, is it not reasonable to
ask that we as a society be willing and able to commit some
reasonable proportion of our resources to it? Or should we
instead "starve the beast" in hopes of....?

As one who remembers the 60's, I still find myself yearning from
time to time for that better, simpler, world in which we all grow
our own vegetables (which my family did), raise our own poultry
(if you're OK with eating eggs and maybe an occasional chicken;
if not, not), teach our children at home, build our own houses,
and spend as little as possible on the products offered to us by
those heartless owners of the means of mass production. And as
dated, and naive, as this sounds today, I really do feel those
pangs from time to time. Which is why I mow my own lawn (while
thinking about eliminating it by going natural), service my own
power equipment, cut and split my own firewood, and have joined
the Community Supported Agriculture movement.

But, I am also aware, that even as we in academia and scholarly
publishing continually fret about the increasing cost of
journals, books, and (relatively) shrinking library materials
budgets, our society is simultaneously devoting huge chunks of
money--far, far, larger than anything most of us have any
experience with--into other less crucial endeavors--pet food for
example. (I say that as a dog lover. Forgive me, Asia.)

And I have to ask myself, would not some of the energy we seem to
be so committed to putting into making scholarly publishing costs
go away, be better put into finding ways to ensure that we, as a
society, can and do adequately fund things like education
(including higher education)? Yes, even scholarly communication?
If we want to avail ourselves of the advantages of today's
technology, it's going to cost something, is it not? If Citibank
is worth a $34 billion rescue package and a $300 billion
guarantee, how much is your college library worth? Nothing?

And should CHOICE really have to agonize every year over whether
to increase subscription prices by $5.00 or $10.00? Or try to
hold them even (as we sometimes manage to do), even as CHOICE
staff settle for minimal salary adjustments year after year (on
salaries that aren't all that high to begin with)?

There are, I suspect, no real answers to these questions, but if
anyone has one, I'd be delighted to hear it.


Irving E. Rockwood
Editor & Publisher
100 Riverview Center
Suite 298
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 347-6933 x119
(860) 704-0465 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu [mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.ya=
le.edu] On Behalf Of Heather Morrison
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 3:57 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Should university presses adopt an OA model for all of their s=
cholarly books?

Nawin Gupta wrote:

Here is an approximation of costs for purposes of this

Managing Editor - ranging from half-time to full-time with an
editorial assistant - $30,000 to $100,000

Editorial Office - $5,000 to $25,000

Editorial Processing, from acceptance to ready for publishing in
print and online, including copy-editing and peer review system -
~ $100/page; ranging from $40,000 (for a quarterly journal with
100 editorial pages per issue) to $200,000 for around 2,000
editorial pages



1.=09Can you clarify that these are two ways of expressing
     editing costs (Editorial Staff + Office), OR Editorial
     processing costs?  Or am I misreading this?

2.=09$100 per page for copyediting and peer review seems very
     steep. Is as example of a journal where these functions are
     provided by paid editorial staff?


The cost estimates for university press publishing provided by
Gupta and Thatcher are very different.  This is quite common in
scholarly publishing, and makes much more sense than one would
think at first. Almost anything in scholarly publishing can be
done either on a purely volunteer / in-kind support basis, or by
paying for services, or something in between (e.g., an editorial
salary only partially reflecting the work involved).  Because
this is part of the work of the scholar, there can be a vast
difference in cost which does not necessarily correlate with
quality.  Some of the society journals are produced at very low
costs compared with the commercial sector, for example, yet are
very highly regarded for their quality, often moreso than
commercial journals.

Any opinion expressed in this e-mail is that of the author alone,
and does not represent the opinion or policy of BC Electronic
Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.

Heather Morrison, MLIS
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics