this Amer.Ass.of Publishers is still on the old standpoint of those
publishers that rely on their old business model well proven in the paper
age, not suitable for the digital age.
Same for the Boersenverein in Germany, the lobby society for publishers.
Actually this old business model works fine for just the few biggest
publishers, in especial ES, which increased its revenue another time this
year beyond 30%.
All other publishers, the SME and the medium ones would benefit from
serving competitive new digital services suited and needed for the wider
range of possible ways of effective professional research working.
To hunt for a document and then just be able to read it, is not what is
competitive: we need download, semantic analysis tools, field-specific
intelligent semantic Markup language encoding, search for related work
including all sources not just a few publishers, that is all
institutional, institute’s servers, pp.
We have a list of the description of 30 such innovative professional
digital services which publishers could add to make their marketing niche
turning to income. Publishers should just ask the scientists.
– Interestingly, the young Elsevier in 1865 did exactly that, asked the
leading scientists of that age, what they need, not what publishers offer.
And they said: referreed topical journals…
Thus we need young audacious entrepeneurs these days of the SMEs.
A look to the music industry helps to clear the view: big industry
fighting for criminalizing the copying of DVDs. But then came Apple with
iPOD and iTune, a service fitting the digital age, not copying just
digitally the habits and expectations of the paper age products and fight
for their dinosaur survival by law lobbying.
The officials of Am.Soc.Pub. just are eligible to be named as leading
fossile dinosaurs of the market.
Finally: their argument, OA is contraproductive for quality is simply
wrong, and they know it.
All the fake publications (e.g. the Schoen case in physics: 40 papers in
one year in the most respected refereed scientific journals, none to
realize this is fake) were cleared by public discussion of the experts,
internet fora, email discussion list, Open access public discussion among
all experts, clearly superior to the refereeing blindly by just 2 referees
who do not dare to put their comment public to the critique of the
Science, means the strictest quality control possible, and it needs fast
publication for feeding the boost of science progress. And that means OA
first, then by that public discussion among all experts, such as a virtual
conference of all experts, and finally refereeing to decide whether paper
should be long term archived, should be distributed and marketed to a
broader public for their information on what is going on in the
neighbouring research field and in science in general. Finally, OA leads
to more citations of the paper, – good for the author, good for science,
it leads to more selling of the printed version of a journal (printing on
demand) and to a higher income for publishers offering this.
Simply summarizing: AAS is not fighting for effective science, they are
fighting to keep up their present business model which at present yields a
good income, even it neither fits the present needs of science nor will
guarantee them a long term future for their clients.
My hunch is, that first their clients will move one by one (especially
when they study examples such as ACP journal, which is OA, needs only
about 20-68 Euro per page of a paper to publish, is highly scrutinely
refereed, AND first discussed in the science community,-which the referees
can read.. and makes good revenue), and at the end, not the beginning of
this process, AAS will move.
Eberhard R. Hilf