[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Jan 19 15:01:30 CST 2016

PS: A big advantage of my proposal (below) is that then authors without funding could not only still afford to publish, but their publications would also be open access! Effectively, open publication of taxonomy would be publicly funded. Sounds perfect to me!


On Wed, 20/1/16, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "Daniel Mietchen" <daniel.mietchen at googlemail.com>
 Received: Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, 9:26 AM
 So, here's a thought: why not let
 publishers apply for funding directly to publish open
 access? It amounts to the same thing, if everything is above
 board and is what it seems to be. Somehow though, I can't
 quite see that happening ...
 On Mon, 18/1/16, Daniel Mietchen <daniel.mietchen at googlemail.com>
  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
  To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
  Received: Monday, 18 January, 2016, 3:47 PM
  It may be worth considering here that
  in the current system, billions
  of dollars are going to the publishing industry every year
  (globally, and across all disciplines), and have been
  so for
  many years.
  From http://doi.org/10.1038/495426a : "Data
 from the
  consulting firm
  Outsell in Burlingame, California, suggest that the
  industry generated $9.4 billion in revenue in 2011 and
  around 1.8 million English-language articles — an
  revenue per
  article of roughly $5,000. Analysts estimate profit
  at 20–30%
  for the industry, so the average cost to the publisher of
  producing an
  article is likely to be around $3,500–4,000."
  Most of this is through subscriptions (by libraries,
  corporations or
  individuals), some of it through advertising, some from
  other sources
  (e.g. database access, membership schemes). Most of this
  to most researchers, the exceptions being things like page
  charges or
  color figure charges in traditional venues or OA fees more
  Now consider a thought experiment: If every single one of
  the ca. 2
  million articles we publish every year would be published
  for an OA
  fee in the PLOS ONE range (ca. USD 1,500), that would cost
  USD 3
  billion altogether, which is roughly the amount of
  publishing industry is making now.
  While many traditional publishers (and especially their
  journals) hover well above those 1,500 dollars, many newer
  ones have
  OA fees well below that, often due to more efficient
  workflows. So if
  OA at the efficiency of PLOS ONE or better were to replace
  traditional publishing model, this would mean significant
  (billions per year eventually) for the scientific
  - and thus
  the public - which we could use to build an infrastructure
  that would
  make scholarly communication more efficient, to include
  things beyond
  PDF and discovery mechanisms beyond citations and journal
  TOC alerts.
  Besides, the educational value of a paywall to lay readers
  in taxonomy rarely tops that of a relevant OA paper.
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  Celebrating 29 years of Taxacom in 2016.

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