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

SPIE reviewed the business model for journals in our fields and 
found that none of the many we checked had submission fees.

I believe that such fees are a good idea fundamentally but only 
if you have the very best journals in a field can a publisher 
take the risk of introducing them in a field.  I know that some 
of the top journals in economics use them.

Mary Summerfield

From: Ivy Anderson <Ivy.Anderson@ucop.edu>
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Sent: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:08:21 PM
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