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

From: Arthur Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 17:09:54 -0400

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

>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.

Don't discount the cost to the reviewers, but no that wasn't what I meant.
Based on our experience (we do pay full time technical editors to
manage the review process) the level of peer review we do costs us
roughly $500 per article. That includes a number of levels of quality checks,
software purchase, development and maintenance, author/editor/referee support,
various kinds of overhead as well as the editorial salaries. There are surely
savings in the way of further automation and process improvement, but we
already have significant computational tools to facilitate the editors'
work here, so I have a hard time believing more than a factor of 2.

Harnad's comments about existing journals being tied to massive infrastructures
are just not true - if there were clear efficiencies to be gained by
significant restructuring we would jump at the opportunity. We have
restructured production processes for all our journals in the last decade
and reaped considerable savings from that, at the cost of the jobs of several
dozen people.
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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