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RE: Submission Fees (was: RE: "Overlay Journals" Over Again...)

The use of submission fees for journals in the area of business 
and economics journal publishing is not unusual.  As a matter of 
fact, I cannot think of any top ranked finance journals that do 
not charge a submission fee.  Some of these fees can range 
between $250-500 and often they are charged for resubmission if 
the article is given a "revise and resubmit" decision.  And the 
more prestigious the journal, the more price inelastic this 
submission fee becomes.

I am not sure if you could create a sustainable business model on 
submission fees, but I never understood why open access journals 
would not implement them.  It seems wholly unfair to charge only 
the papers that make it "successfully" through the review process 
to acceptance, while the majority of papers that are being 
rejected (I am assuming this, but it may be a big assumption) get 
a free ride through the process.  Maybe the submission fee could 
be applied to the acceptance fee once the article is accepted -- 
this would be even fairer to the accepted authors.

I do not think submission fees encourage journals to accept 
papers or increases the potential for abuse as some may have 
claimed.  In a certain way, fees charged on acceptance only would 
create a greater incentive for abuse and "acceptance" decisions 
for less worthy papers.

Finally, charging submission fees may make authors think twice 
before submitting a paper that may not be ready for prime time. 
As a publisher, I often see authors submit articles too early 
knowing that the chance of acceptance on the first submission is 
low and hoping the reviewer can provide some constructive 
feedback.  In talking to some journal editors, they feel that 
submission fees is a rationing mechanism -- you are less likely 
to submit a paper if there is a fee unless you feel it is ready 
for the review process.


Zac Rolnik
now publishers

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Ivy Anderson
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 11:08 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Submission Fees (was: RE: "Overlay Journals" Over Again...)

The idea of submission fees is one that we at the California 
Digital Library have also repeatedly attempted to advance in 
recent years. Publishers frequently cite the steep rise in 
submissions as a factor affecting their cost structure.  It makes 
no sense that this activity is entirely subsidized by other 
players in the publication chain.  Some recent modeling that we 
have done at CDL - admittedly based on rough and preliminary 
figures from a variety of sources - suggests that even very 
modest submission fees, if implemented by publishes across the 
board, would come close to completely covering the systemic cost 
increases associated with the steady increase in publishing 
output overall (another factor to which annual price rises for 
journals are frequently attributed by some analysts).  If anyone 
has studied this - i.e. the potential contribution that 
submission fees would make to the cost of the scholarly 
publishing system as a whole - with any rigor, I would be very 
interested to see those data.

It's easy to understand how the current incentive system works 
against this: what publisher will voluntarily disadvantage itself 
in attracting submissions by imposing such fees if its 
competitors do not? Nonetheless, as library budgets continue to 
contract, the survival of scholarly publishing may just depend on 
finding ways to distribute costs across a wider base. Submission 
fees - even if modest ones - should be on the table.

Ivy Anderson
Director of Collections
California Digital Library
University of California, Office of the President

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Jan Velterop
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 9:54 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: "Overlay Journals" Over Again...

The situation is this:

1) researchers HAVE to publish and HAVE to have their
publications  peer-reviewed;
2) existing systems (OA-author-paid as well subscriptions) ONLY
pay  for PUBLISHED articles.

So the real problem is this: in neither case is the organization
of  peer review per se paid for. Those who argue that it is,
place the  entire burden of cost exclusively on the PUBLISHED

What is needed is a system such as, say, your diving test. You
pay  for the test, whether you pass or not. Translated to
publications, a  fee at submission is what we need, for which
peer-review is  organized. And this fee should be non-refundable,
whether the article  is accepted for publication or not.

Where is the courageous and/or visionary 'publisher' (just using
a  familiar term that should probably be changed into 'assessment
organization' or pithier equivalent) who starts a system like

Jan Velterop