Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What the heck?

So I've got an article in the final stages of publication and had an interesting email this morning. This particular journal was recently bought out by a major publisher and had it's price jacked up an unbelievable amount. I recall a debate a few years back between David Wiley and a publisher about the journal racquet. This is from memory but I think his big claim was that we provide the actual content (authorship), the peer review, and the editing at no cost to most journals. Which is quite true. The rebuttal was that the journal provides copy-editing.

Now back to my email. I get a URL to print-ready .pdfs and a request to . . . (wait for it) . . . copy-edit. No joke. Within two days. I gotta say that it's fabulous to do all the work and then get the privilege of buying back the work that I and my co-authors did.

So exactly what are we paying for now? Server space? I can't imagine how we got to this point--and the best part is that the prices keep going up! Libraries consistently have to reduce their subscriptions because journals are literally pricing themselves out of a job. I think the average is something like over 10% a year (the particular journal I'm talking about far exceeded the 10% average).

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