June 14, 2004

More on scientific and scholarly publishing

Nature Web Focus has a fascinating forum on "access to the literature".

Here are some short quotes from interesting recent pieces by Daniel Greenstein,

I believe that the business model of commercial publishing, which once served the academy's information needs, now threatens fundamentally to undermine and pervert the course of research and teaching. Put bluntly, the model is economically unsustainable for us.

Stevan Harnad,

Lawrence found that in computer science citations were three times higher for Open Access articles than for papers only available for payment in print or online. Kurtz et al. have since reported similar estimates in astrophysics, and Odlyzko in mathematics.

We are carrying out a much larger study across all disciplines, using a 10-year sample of 14 million articles from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)'s database; initial results, for the field of physics, show Open Access articles being cited 2.5 to 5 times more than articles that users' institutions must pay to access online...

and Theodore and Carl Bergstrom:

For Reader Pays publishing, data on price and quality of journals are abundant. For the nascent Author Pays model, not much historical information is available and the academic world has not yet had time to adapt fully to the technological capabilities of the Internet. To predict the eventual shape of the academic publishing market, it is useful to think about the economic fundamentals of this industry and their likely effects.

Posted by Mark Liberman at June 14, 2004 10:32 PM