[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
RE: Future of the "subscription model?"
- To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: RE: Future of the "subscription model?"
- From: <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 20:42:39 EST
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
Actually, moral outrage is very powerful at moving how people make purchasing decisions -- think tuna, grapes, cigarettes, coffee, bank card fees etc. -- so I think those advocates have chosen an approach that has some advantages. In this case, because of the particularities of this problem (product monopolies and captive markets), moral outrage alone was not enough -- but you can bet that if not for the problem of the captive market, many of your favorite titles and publishers would be gone already, or seriously revisioned. In any case, the arguments have never stopped with moral outrage alone, but have led to much innovative heavy lifting, so moral outrage has already proven effective even in this situation. Of course, moral outrage isn't going to go away, because it tends to be renewed and reinforced every year. When there is a captive market which faces inflation at rates higher than cost of living year-in, year-out, and that market happens to be not for profit for the most part, supported by individuals, some of whom are actually motivated to serve the greater good, you're bound to create moral outrage. If you really haven't thought it through, you might want to think about the analogy to war profiteering, where similar moral outrage is inspired. One stance seems to be that the only sensible approach to business is that a business should attempt to profit as much as possible at any cost and always with a short term perspective -- but in my experience, successful businesses don't work this way and wouldn't last long in their respective markets if they tried it. I think publishing is quite anomalous. I don't think it is defensible to claim that anyone needs to understand the economics at work, they just need to build something better. If one wanted to argue the point, I suppose one could, but the exceptions out in the real world of new products re-shaping markets clearly overwhelm that rule. Of course, any new system or set of systems will no doubt turn out to have problems, but prognostications about ultimate destruction under new systems are just plain silly and ignore the more pressing problems at hand. Sounds like, "Let's not save someone from drowning, because they'll die of something else!" Of course, we want words of caution and prudence, as appropriate, but thanks for calling on us to also be real about the prospects of both OA and business as usual. The OA Joe mentions is one flavor among many. Author-pays might continue to succeed for something like plos one, but author-pays was common to medical research before OA came along, at least as reported by our plos one panel expert for OA week. I'll be curious to see if author-pays can really take hold in other disciplinary areas. Since other OA approaches have been proving very successful, I don't think author-pays is going to get the traction Joe might think it will. I expect OA development to continue patchwork-like for some time yet. Regards, Nat -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Joseph Esposito Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 6:45 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Future of the "subscription model?" I don't agree that open access is a train wreck waiting to happen. There are good and bad OA services. Some will survive, some will not. This is true of traditional publishing models as well. I want to repeat a remark I made earlier on this thread. I am not defending the situation; I am trying to explain it. Changing the "system" (how can anything so diverse, so disorganized, be called a "system"?) requires an understanding of the economics at work. Many of the tactics used to effect change are pointless, the expression of moral outrage among them. OA, whatever its many virtues, does not support libraries, though it does open up a new revenue stream from authors, thereby expanding the market for scholarly materials and potentially increasing the profitability of the sector. I would be surprised if that is the goal expressed by many OA advocates. Joe Esposito On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM, <email@example.com> wrote: > Fred is quite right that the bigger publishers so dominate the > library market that smaller publishers are always being > squeezed. I have lost count of the times librarians have said > to me they would love to buy a journal of ours but because so > much of their funds are going to a certain publisher, there > simply isn't anything left over. Libraries need to grasp that > the more Big Publishing dominates the market, the more > demanding it will become, and for that reason it is in the > interests of libraries to do what they can to support smaller > publishers, to encourage diversity in the supplier base. > Moreover, smaller publishers, having to be nimble to survive in > lop-sided markets, are the people who are more likely to come > up with innovative titles, to quickly latch on to developments > in technology which merit the starting of a new journal: > another good reason for libraries to give their support. > > I would wholly agree with Fred's remark that smaller > subscription publishers offer titles of high academic value and > are not getting their fair share of the cake, but I would > disagree with his inclusion of OA publishers. My prediction is > that OA is a train wreck waiting to happen, that the scholarly > communications landscape in 25 years time will be littered with > broken links, journals that lasted only a couple of years > before the amateur publishers got fed up with an unrelenting > and unrewarding exercise: unretrievable research. Will our > successors thank us for that? Is that any answer to the problem > Big Publishing has created for both libraries and small > publishers? > > Bill Hughes > Director > Multi-Science Publishing > www.multi-science.co.uk