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Costs of peer-review (Was: May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter)

One of the things about traditional publishing that I hear 
frequently is the cost of peer-review.  I wonder if someone can 
fill me in on what those costs are.  In most journals, the 
editors aren't paid (but editing is not peer-reviewing, anyway). 
The reviewers aren't paid.  There are no longer any postage and 
printing costs to be paid.  There's bound to be an overhead 
adminstrative cost of sending the material back and forth, and 
(perhaps) converting into other formats (such as pdf) before 
review, but this surely can't be that high.  Afterwards, a large 
amount of formatting into the journal's layout is now done 
automatically, but, in any case, that has nothing to do with 

I'm not saying that there are _no_ costs to peer review - so many 
people say that there are, so they can't all be wrong.  I'm just 
asking what those costs are. i.e. if the journal were not 
peer-reviewed, what expensive activities would be cut out?



Dr. Ken Masters
Asst. Professor: Medical Informatics
Medical Education Unit
College of Medicine & Health Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
Sultanate of Oman
E-i-C: The Internet Journal of Medical Education