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Re: Journal publishing costs

There's no doubt that journal publishing can be done far more 
cheaply than any 'official' costs might suggest, even without 
hiding costs off balance sheet.

That publishing can be done more cheaply is of itself no argument 
for OA. What contributes to scholarly communication is keeping 
things going for years and years and years, until a journal 
constitutes a useful corpus of knowledge. Anyone can start a 
journal, but will they have the energy, the enthusiasm, the 
dedication to keep going for say 15 years, when there's no 
financial reward, no recognition, repeated let-downs from 
'funders', uphill struggle to get decent papers etc etc? (not to 
mention exposure to aspects of the corrupt comedy of 'author 

How will scholarly communication benefit from a long road 
littered with discarded journals and broken links? What we've got 
to some extent works, too much eagerness to change it drastically 
might prove counter productive. Which is not to say that the post 
modern pricing philosophies of some publishers does not deserve 
to be roundly condemned, as does the madness of librarians in 
paying such prices.

Bill Hughes

----- Original Message -----
From: "FrederickFriend" <ucylfjf@ucl.ac.uk>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:52 PM
Subject: Journal publishing costs

> New research on scholarly communication costs is always worth 
> reading, and I draw attention to a new report from the Public 
> Knowledge Project on a survey of journals using PKP's OJS 
> platform. The survey report is on the PKP web-site in the form 
> of a pre-publication article entitled "A survey of the 
> scholarly journals using Open Journal Systems" by Brian Edgar 
> and John Willinsky
> http://pkp.sfu.ca/files/OJS%20Journal%20Survey.pdf.
> The following extract from the article indicates the importance 
> of the findings from this survey: "These journals are also in a 
> position to contribute to future discussions about scholarly 
> communication in light of their budgets, which appear to 
> challenge what is often held up as the necessary and real cost 
> of scholarly publishing, whether to prove the impossibility of 
> open access publishing or to set a publication charge fee for 
> authors to pay for open access. The challenge posed by this set 
> of journals becomes starkly apparent, whether one compares the 
> first copy costs from this journal sample of $188.39 per 
> article, at roughly a tenth of the industry standard over the 
> last decade (RIN 2008, p. 35), or the annual budget for the 
> majority of these journals, which stands at less than what are 
> held to be the "fixed" costs ($3,800) of a single article (Ware 
> & Mabe, 2009, p. 52)."
> The findings in the report will be particularly helpful for 
> small societies wondering how to move their journals to e-only 
> and their business model to viable open access. Often societies 
> feel either that the cost of moving to e-only is prohibitive or 
> that they have no other option but to join a major commercial 
> publisher. Open Journal Systems can provide a viable and 
> academic-friendly way forward, showing that publishing costs 
> need not be as high as they are sometimes portrayed. The 
> pre-publication article points to the significance of the 
> "scholar-publisher" model as "an effective response to the 
> current hold that large commercial and society publishers have 
> on research library budgets by pursuing a model of cooperative 
> participation in the global circulation of peer-reviewed 
> literature".
> Fred Friend
> JISC Scholarly Communication Consultant
> Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL