Re: The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)

From: ALPSP <sec-gen_at_ALPSP.ORG.UK>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 09:13:58 -0000

I have a number of comments about the recent discussion:

1) I thought the issue of the cost of PR was originally raised on the
grounds that, if it could be reduced to zero by some such means as 'open
peer review', then no costs would have to be recovered from authors at all.
Economically, perfectly logical

2) However, the strong message from academia seems to be that PR (whether
as it is, or in some 'evolved' form) is extremely important and should not
be thrown out with the bathwater. See, for example the recent paper from
AAAS on 'defining publication' (

3) The figures being bandied about for the full cost per paper seem to me
to be on the low side. See, for example, the results of the survey carried
out by Professor Bernard Donovan, a couple of years ago, of a sample of
learned society publishers (

4) Until about 5 years ago I was running a list of some 50 medical
journals - some for learned societies, some not. In every case the
publisher was covering not only the editor's expenses (several thousand
pounds per year) but also some kind of royalty or honorarium. The expenses
consisted not only of direct costs such as postage and secretarial help, but
also office accommodation (even when this was in the editor's own
university); every university these days seems to find it necessary to
recover such costs, and in many cases they add a hefty overhead percentage
on top. In addition there will be in-house administrative costs.

Sally Morris
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:39 GMT