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Re: Growth for STM publishers in 2008

>Sandy et al. Two points worth noting:
>1.There is public funding of research because of the universally 
>recognised market failure due to the public good nature of 
>knowledge leading to private under-investment as investors in 
>R&D cannot prevent spillovers. The purpose of taxpayer funded 
>investment in R&D is to fill the gap and realise economic and 
>social returns. The fact that research findings are picked up 
>and used is the point, not a problem. The purpose of OA, or any 
>other form of scholarly and scientific communication, is to make 
>research findings readily accessible and usable for researchers 
>and research users in all sectors. The best publishing business 
>model is the one that best achieves this outcome.

Ah, but then explain to me why universities are so quick to take 
out patents on research that can potentially produce income. If 
this were all just for the public good, presumably universities 
would not bother to use the patent system as a source of 

>2,On balance, the evidence does not suggest that the university 
>community would pay more in an OA environment when system-wide 
>costs are taken into account. In some research intensive 
>universities, author-pays fees might conceivably be more than 
>their library subscription expenditure, but when one also takes 
>into account research and library negotiation, purchasing, 
>handling, processing and user support cost savings (not to 
>mention individual and departmental subscriptions), which would 
>of course be greatest in research intensive universities, the 
>university community is likely to pay less for OA, and it is 
>difficult to imagine the circumstances that would see any 
>individual university (community) having to pay more.

The same could be said for OA for monographs no doubt, and one 
benefit of introducing OA into that domain would be to spread the 
costs of supporting the system more equitably among universities, 
whereas now just some 80 universities in the U.S. pay the costs 
of supporting presses that do the publishing for all 3,000+ 
institutions of higher education.

>John Houghton
>Victoria University
>Sandy Thatcher wrote:
>>  ... which raises the interesting question whether it should be a
>>  primary purpose of OA to save money for private industry, which
>>  would otherwise need to pay for access as a cost of doing
>>  business.  Is the university community willing to pay more--by
>>  way of supporting OA journals and paying faculty fees for
>>  publishing in Gold OA journals--for the sake of subsidizing the
>>  research needs of private industry? And recall that the court
>>  that decided the Texaco case did not feel it was "fair" for
>>  Texaco to be making photocopies of journal articles for its
>>  researchers because its ultimate purpose was "commercial."
>>  Sandy Thatcher
>>  Penn State University Press