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INTARCH-INTEREST  November 2001

INTARCH-INTEREST November 2001

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Subject:

Re: The demise of the freely accessible e-journal

From:

Judith Winters <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

For announcements and discussion concerning the e-journal Internet Archaeology <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 28 Nov 2001 17:24:15 +0000

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (57 lines)

Message from Carol McDavid
(originally posted off-list, forwarded with permission)

Hello,

Paul Barford's recent message prompts me to write. I, too, value and
appreciate Internet Archaeology, and I have nothing but respect for you and
the other people who have worked so hard to develop this journal. I am also
pleased that previous authors are allowed free access to our own articles. I
have two comments.

First, I agree with Paul that charging a fee for access to previously
published materials seems a bit odd, though my problem is, primarily, one of
price. Would it not be possible to charge for access to archived individual
articles, as many newspapers do? Most major dailies do not allow free online
access to archived issues for more than a week or so -- after that, one has
to pay a small fee for each article. That, to me, would seem reasonable for
archived issues of Internet Archaeology. Alternatively, it might make more
sense to charge a smaller fee for each archived issue. Print journals also
have a per-issue fee for individual back issues -- in the 7.00 range, for
the ones I subscribe to. I would happily pay that sort of price for an
individual issue if I needed it -- but paying 39.50 for Issues 2-9, when I
know from a look at the contents that I would only need permanent access to
a couple -- other than my own! -- makes me pause.

My second comment has to do with the basic subscription price. I have to
access Internet Archaeology independently, not through my institution. The
fee of 39.50 GBP for a two-issue subscription (the price of the second
"package") is quite a bit higher than I pay now for print versions of
several other journals.I did a quick scan of four other print journals
littering my desk, and confirmed this: the new price for Internet
Archaeology is, on average, twice the cost of several other major journals.
I realize that the material available online will be fundamentally
different -- and arguably better -- than that available in print, with
database searches and so on, but as an individual subscriber I would
probably not want to purchase materials at such a high cost unless they were
directly related to my own work. Perhaps, if the price really does need to
be that high in order to cover the Journal's expenses, articles should be
also available on a per-article basis -- for individual subscribers at
least.

I too want to see Internet Archaeology continue to succeed, and hope that
these comments will be taken in the positive spirit in which they are
offered.

Best,

Carol

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Carol McDavid
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
1638 Branard, Houston, Texas, 77006, USA
(713) 523-2649
[log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask]
www.webarchaeology.com

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