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RE: Changing the game

Are we comparing science publishing to humanities publishing?  I hate to write
in "generalities" but...

I have known professors in STM whose research is highly subsidized by
universitites, corporations, the government, and other sources.  Without these
sources their research would be far too expensive to carry out.  In exchange
for the heavy subsidization they make very little, if any, money when their
work is patented or published and generally the patent or copyright is owned by
the university.  They, in turn, rarely have to pay to be published.

On the other hand I have known humanities professors who have had to pay
substantial amounts to have their work published in university presses,
sometimes by agreeing to buy a certain number of copies of their texts or
copies of other texts by these presses.  These presses in turn own the
copyrights.  Rather than paying the university presses, why shouldn't they opt
to pay their own OA fees and own their copyrights?

From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu [owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On
Behalf Of Sandy Thatcher [sgt3@psu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 6:18 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Changing the game

If subsidization is all "part of the game," then I'd ask
Jean-Claude to explain to us why the 80 or so U.S. universities
that have presses expect them, on average, to cover 90% of their
operating costs from revenues generated in the marketplace--which
is, of course, the principal reason that books published by these
presses will not go OA en masse anytime soon. And perhaps he can
also explain why there are only this small handful of presses
that are actually paying for the system of publishing scholarly
monographs whereas all the rest get a "free ride."  Ideals are
fine to aspire to, but for now we still have a very messy, and
commercialized, world to deal with.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State Press

>The whole world of scholarly and scientific publishing is
>subsidized; it is subsidized in and out and in a whole lot of
>ways, some obvious, some tacit, some invisible, etc..