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Re: Publishers - your thoughts on jobs for your authors and review=

I would think using David's approach, one would conclude that
Elsevier is a bargain.  I don't happen to agree with this
approach, though, so I won't make that assertion.

The merit of the traditional approach, of which Elsevier is the
exemplar, is not in making material available (the core tenet of
OA), but in making an assertion of what is and is not worth
putting any time into.  PLOS One proceeds from the opposite
impulse, that the idea of a publisher attempting to shape the
direction of research is inappropriate.

No reason we can't have both--and we do.  Over time these two
approaches will diverge even further in the kinds of material
they work with.  It takes a while for a new medium to find its
voice, and PLOS One is a new medium.

The traditional model works in its way; the author-pays model of
PLOS One and a slew of other services works in its way.  It's
only the so-called Green model that doesn't work, as it
undermines the economics of the traditional model, on which it

Why not simply let authors choose where they want to publish,
assuming they make the grade?  Isn't that a reasonable
consideration, that the people doing the creative work have some
say in how it is handled?

Joe Esposito

On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 2:29 AM, David Prosser <david.prosser@rluk.ac.uk> wrote:
> Peer review is not the only cost of scholarly publishing and so
> I'm not sure why Sandy is focussing on it.
> Here's a couple of thoughts. Elsevier (and I'm using them as
> shorthand for most large publishers) receives approximately $5000
> per article they publish. PLoS receives less than $2000 per
> article they publish*.
> The question is: is Elsevier and its ilk providing 2.5 times the
> service, impact, and quality that PLoS provides?
> David
> (PLoS one has an article processing charge of $1350. Other PLoS
> journals have higher charges, but as they publish far fewer
> articles I'm assuming that the average comes in at less than $2k.
> Please let me know if I'm wrong.)
> On 29 Jun 2011, at 04:03, Sandy Thatcher wrote:
>> Besides pointing out the obvious, viz., that university press
>> employees are just as subject to being cut as any other
>> university staff are and thus it makes no sense to interpret
>> this to be the position of the journal publishers in our ranks,
>> I would point out that the article does not address the
>> "perverse incentives" noted by one of the commenters that drive
>> the whole system and result in ever increasing article output
>> by faculty (which, in turn, partly accounts for price increases
>> exceeding the rate of inflation and adds to the burden on
>> faculty of peer reviewing more articles). Nor does it offer any
>> solution so far as peer review is concerned. The fact is that
>> open access is no answer at all to the cost of peer review.
>> Indeed, to the extent that librarians encourage the launching
>> of more OA journals resulting in ever more articles being
>> produced, the cost of peer review will rise even further. I
>> don't know that it is fair to accuse any publishers of being
>> responsible for encouraging the increase in article output. The
>> reasons for this increase lie much more in the "perverse
>> incentives" of the whole promotion-and-tenure process as well
>> as the system of research grants that seems to reward
>> scientists who are most "productive" in terms of number of
>> articles published. Until these "perverse incentives" change,
>> there will be no decrease in peer-review costs.
>> Sandy Thatcher