Re: Savings from Converting to On-Line-Only: 30%- or 70%+ ?

From: Christopher D. Green <christo_at_YORKU.CA>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 14:47:24 -0400

On Fri, 28 Aug 1998, Arthur Smith wrote:

> It is all well and good to say "of course peer review will be available",
> but peer review is expensive and the model you have proposed for a journal
> based on the xxx archives does not seem to be in any way viable as
> a purely electronic entity.

Please explain why peer review is expensive? The reviewers don't get paid
(at least in my field: psychology). If the submissions and reviews are
sent via e-mail, there are no paper, printing, or postage costs. (There
are some costs, of course, associated with maintaining the required
additional electronic communication services, but these are a miniscule
fraction of a university's--or other corporation's--general computing
costs.) Even journal editors often only receive honoraria of a few
thousand dollars per year. Surely peer review is one of the least
expensive parts of a conventional journal's operation (compared with, say,
the costs associated with printing and posting the individual issues).

> What's so special about a truly electronic-only journal? It merely
> eliminates one of the production and distribution pieces of the process.
> Prior to production, the same automation efficiencies are
> available whether or not you produce a print version. The majority
> of users of electronic journals print out a copy of articles they
> are interested in - does that make every electronic journal not
> electronic-only?

Perhaps (though this may well change as screens improve). And in any case,
they print ONLY those articles they want, not every article the journal


Christopher D. Green office: (416) 736-5115 ext. 66164
Department of Psychology FAX: (416) 736-5814
York University
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 e-mail:
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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