Re: Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?

From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 14:45:07 -0400


On Fri, 28 Aug 1998, "Thomas J. Walker" wrote:

> Mark Doyle ( Do authors in APS journals buy paper reprints?
> Would they buy e-reprints at the same price (or lower)? Would electronic
> reprints be a welcomed new service to APS members?

Yes, some authors do buy reprints. However, they already have the right to
download the PDF file of their paper and post it on their own web page or
print out as many copies as they want. So this isn't a strong incentive. As
for early access, they have the option to post to xxx (which many do).

As Arthur pointed out in another response, having two sets of authors with
papers of different status will cause more problems than it solves.

Still, it would be useful to repackage the concept of page charges into
something that translates into a real benefit for the authors, such as
better access to their work. Another approach would be author "surcharges"
(this benefitted from a discussion with Reid Terwilliger here at the APS).
In this scenario there would be minimal costs (or no cost) to authors who
use our authoring tools (correctly), submit electronically, and go through
all of the automated checks. Thus there could be a low cost path for
everyone at the price of authors having to do some extra work. If you happen
to be an author with a fat grant that covers publication charges, well then
you can be more sloppy and incur surcharges for re-keying or for using
journal staff time to check your files and fix mistakes. I suspect that
eventually granting agencies would start eliminating coverage for such
surcharges since authors can avoid them, but that could be slow transition.
Such a environment would allow us to substantially reduce the cost to
readers for accessing the journals.

Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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