Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another kind of added value added by unpaid volunteers

Panos Ipeirotis, Are Publishers Making Themselves Useless?  A Computer Scientist in a Business School, June 18, 2007.  Excerpt:

No matter how nicely I try to format my camera-ready papers, occasionally I will get an email like this from the publisher: ...

[PS:  Omitting detailed list of small typesetting errors.]

I cannot understand why the author has to deal with all these typesetting issues, if there is publisher involved in the process. Isn't typesetting something that the publisher does? Given that I have submitted my LaTeX sources and all the necessary files needed to compile the paper, it is trivially easy to fix all these issues....

[A]s publishers push more and more of their responsibilities to the authors, they increasingly make themselves irrelevant. There is no reason to pay a publisher to prepare proceedings or even journals when the publisher does not even want to take care of the most esoteric issues. In fact, there is no reason for a publisher to exist at all. What is the added value that a publisher offers? Open access and the web made already a significant part of the publisher's role obsolete; if publishers voluntarily make typesetting the task of their suppliers (authors), then they voluntarily make themselves a useless part of the workflow, ripe to be dropped completely in the near future.