Re: The Economics of Open Access Journal Publishing

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 14:12:48 +0000

On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Barry Mahon wrote:


> [Barry Mahon first quotes from BNP and Citigroup]:
> "Under open-access, we believe the cost of publishing STM articles
> could be lowered for universities and research institutions. This
> belief is based on the critical assumption that submission costs
> per article would be less than the subscription revenues per article
> implied by the current model"
> "We believe there is a 50% risk of a change in the model ten years
> from now"
> In my opinion, I don't think these remarks would necessarily indicate
> viability.

Can I again suggest that, apart from our very reasonable interest in the
economic viability -- short-term and long-term -- of open-access journal
publishing, we not lose sight of our primary goal, which is *open

Do we really want to sit around waiting to see if that 50% risk of change
pans out in 10 years? Or do we want to reach for the open access that
is already within our grasp right now (by another means)?

Ceterum censeo: Open access is *not* about journal or library economics.
It is about maximizing the impact of our research by maximizing
access to our research, something that is entirely in our own hands. As
we sit contemplating economic models and awaiting the creation of
open-access journals journals, our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
research impact continues to be lost, needlessly and preventably:

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: Complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Posted discussion to:

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2: Publish your article in a suitable open-access journal
            whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1: Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable toll-access
            journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Mon Nov 03 2003 - 14:12:48 GMT

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