Re: The True Cost of the Essentials

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2006 11:48:59 +0100

On Thu, 26 Oct 2006, Armbruster, Chris wrote:

> potentially the costs for publishing are [zero]...

Potentially the costs of any product or service one simply renounces are zero.

But we don't want to renounced peer-reviewed journal articles.

And the costs (to the journal) of providing peer-reviewed journal articles
are not just the costs of dissemination and storage. They include the
costs of implementing peer-review (and have been discussed in the annals
of the American Scientist Open Access Forum since 1999!). See references

> services like Arxiv, SSRN and RePEc are free to authors and readers:

They are merely means of dissemination. Peer-reviewed research journal publishing
is not and never has been merely a dissemination service.

(A Postgutenberg journal may in fact turn out to be a peer-review service-provider
and certifier of its outcome.)

Pertinent Prior AmSci Subject Threads:

    "Savings from Converting to On-Line-Only: 30%- or 70%+ ?"
     (Started Aug 27 1998)

    "The Logic of Page Charges to Free the Journal Literature"
    (Started April 29 1999)

    "2.0K vs. 0.2K"
    (Started May 7 1999)

    "Online Self-Archiving: Distinguishing the Optimal from the Optional"
    (Started May 11 1999)

    "The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)"
    (Started July 5 1999)

    "Separating Quality-Control Service-Providing from Document-Providing"
    (Started November 30 1999)

    "Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons"
    (Started July 2001)

    "Author Publication Charge Debate"
    (Started June 28 2001)

    "JHEP will convert from toll-free-access to toll-based access"
    (Started January 5 2002)

    "The True Cost of the Essentials"
    (Started April 2 2002)

    "The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review - NOT!)"
    (Started April 1 2002)

    "Journal expenses and publication costs"
    (Started January 10 2003)

   "Scientific publishing is not just about administering peer-review"
    (Started October 15 2003)

    "The Economics of Open Access Journal Publishing"
    (Started November 3 2003)

    "The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition"
    (Started January 7 2004)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Oct 26 2006 - 12:00:05 BST

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