I am unsure why any academic journal should be published in paper form
anymore. It would seem to me to be far better, and far more cost effective,
to publish only electronically.
As far as I am aware the major service offered by the publisher is to ensure
that the article is peer reviewed before publication, and some editorial
assistance in regard to readabilty.
Perhaps it is possible to publish on-line without prior peer-review, but for
the service provider to allow Peer Review commentaries from academics and
professionals who have, like the author, prevously registered and
validated.their identities and qualifications. This would seem to be a very
cheap way of publishing papers, ensuring proper commentary on those papers,
and reducing both lead times and costs to a minimum.
Access to the papers could be by means of a reasonably low cost monthly
subscription, costs would need to be worked out, but a renting server space
is not expensive.
Is it necessary to pay for peer-reviews, or would colleagues in a field be
keen to critique colleagues work - perhaps via an anonymous route, which
would be fairly simple to set up? The registration and validation process of
authors and reviewers would need to be worked on to guarantee quality -
subscriptions would be from anyone who was interested.
Gap in the market...?
Or pipe dream?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Champion" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: Down with Academic publishers
As a former editor for a very academic publisher, and a researcher no longer
attached to an institution, I can see both sides of the argument. As a
researcher I want open access to articles and academic work and am very
frustrated at the high costs involved with subscribing to journals or, even
worse, buying individual articles. However, I have also worked on the other
side as well and fully understand the costs involved. I can also assure you
that, as far as the company I worked for was concerned, there were no
obscene profits. It was a permanent case of struggling to hold your position
in the market. There are better ways of doing it. There are cheaper ways of
doing it. There are quicker ways of doing it. However, for many academics,
whilst wishing for fast and cheap access to research material, there is
still the mentality that, when THEIR research is published they want it to
be as a hardback monograph. Many years past the company I worked for were
known for their very academic cloth-bound hardbacks that were supplied with
a simple printed label pasted to the cover. The company gradually moved away
from this - producing books with very nicely designed dust-jackets. Believe
it or not there was resistance from certain academic quarters. These
academics saw it as tantamount to 'dumbing down'. They stated that they
regarded the publication of their work as a simple cloth bound hardback to
be a major stepping stone on the path of academic recognition. Many of these
books WERE subsidised - but they had to be. Less than 300 copies were
printed (sometimes as few as 180) - of which nearly 20% would go out as
review copies (academics like lots of reviews). They also wanted their work
to be seen at conferences. They wanted their colleagues and rivals to admire
its stark cloth binding and feel the weight of their studies. Conferences
are not cheap things for publishers to attend either.
I do, therefore, wonder if, rather than just aiming at the publishers, we
should be looking elsewhere to change the academic mentality. Think about
your own attitudes to published work. Do you value something as highly if it
is made available cheaply via the internet rather than in a £50 monograph?
If not - then why not?
From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of John Briggs
Sent: 30 August 2011 19:32
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Down with Academic publishers
On 30/08/2011 15:59, Mike Haseler wrote:
> The real problem seems to be a cartel of large journal publishers whose
> journals are bought by libraries with a "no questions asked" policy
> which allows those publishers to charge astronomical amounts and end up
> with obscene profits.
Question are always asked. Unfortunately, these are the essential,
high-impact journals, where you *have* to publish your work. Libraries
have to purchase them for much the same reason.