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Re: PostGutenberg Peer Review

In his long response to Joe Esposito, Stevan Harnad made only this
one passing reference to copyediting as a service journal publishers
perform and, in the way he phrased it here, questioned whether indeed
it is a needed service. He seems to think that copyediting plays
absolutely no role in determining a journal's reputation, and that so
long as a journal is highly selective in what it accepts, it could
publish shabbily written, error-filled articles without having its
reputation affected in any significant way.  I think he is dead wrong
in making this assumption about journals. I wonder if he would say
the same about book publishing, that authors do not care if one book
publisher provides better copyediting, design, marketing, etc. than
another so long as they are equal in terms of peer-review selectivity?

My main disagreement with Stevan about the virtues of Green OA is
that he thinks people can get along just fine with an inferior
product. If he is right about this, of course, then he must accept
the consequence that libraries have no business paying extra for the
"value added" beyond peer review that publishers supply and should
discontinue their subscriptions to any journals whose contents are
all available in Green OA form.

Sandy Thatcher

>There will be no more new publishing services, apart from peer
>review (and possibly some copy-editing), and no more new journals
>either; 25,000 is probably enough already! And the cost per round
>of refereeing should not prove more than about $200.

Sanford G. Thatcher
Executive Editor for Social Sciences and Humanities
Penn State University Press