Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

More on the value of society publications

Dana Roth, Electrochemical Journals, AIP's Scitation, Cost-Effectiveness, the (sci-tech) Library Question, May 28, 2004. Roth shows how the Electrochemical Society publishes journals of value. First, the ES has joined the AIP's Scitation platform so that its content may be searched, linked and accessed (with subscription) with that of other scientific societies. Second, Roth presents a table of cost-effectiveness comparisons which reflect favorably on the ES compared with commercial journals in the same discipline. He goes on to say that scientific society publishers are not part of the journal cost problem, but then expresses a dim view of OA publishing:
the questionable suggestion that scientific research should be freely available ignores the essential contribution of publishers in providing mechanisms for peer-review and sustainable publication. Proposals for authors posting their articles on the WWW (self-archiving) or paying substantial charges for publication (Open Access journals) are problematic in the sense that these two approaches are highly unlikely to produce a critical mass. Peer-review, editing and formatting, distribution and archiving are serious concerns that should not be dismissed or ignored.
While Roth seems to blur the distinction between free and open access, one can recognize the importance of the publishing services that he lists and which are still being sorted out in the OA environment.