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

From: Arthur Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 18:14:28 -0500

Fytton Rowland wrote:
> I entered the scholarly publishing business in 1967 and this problem was
> being debated then -- long before electronic publication!

Thanks for the reminder this isn't a new problem!

> My guess is that, as with other publication
> costs, the costs of copy-editing could be quite a lot less than the
> traditional publishers say, but not nothing.

Well, it's hard to imagine a successful commercial business that
routinely spends money on something nobody apparently wants; shouldn't
commercial publishers be taking the lead on this? If they don't pass on
cost savings to libraries, they can certainly pass it on as profits to
their shareholders... Is the argument that they're all clueless (or
monopolistic) "dinosaurs"? Perhaps there's some truth to that, but they
do have to deal with a reality we only speculate about here.

And if the costs really cannot be significantly reduced, the proposed
"modest fee to authors or their institutions" would not be modest, but
we've been over that rather a lot before...

I think this question on publishers doing copy-editing (and associated
production of a final "publication quality" version of the article) is
quite central to the whole issue of costs we've debated so long, because
it really is a very large piece of the cost puzzle; Stevan says it's
inessential, and some people here seem quite inclined to agree. Is it?
Do we have some examples where it's been eliminated already, or moved to
a separate part of the process?

Received on Fri Dec 21 2001 - 01:36:49 GMT

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