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Implementing Electronic Access for an Independent Journal: Technical Issues, Business Decisions, Legal Matters Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing Electronic Access for an Independent Journal: Technical Issues, Business Decisions, Legal Matters Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing Electronic Access for an Independent Journal: Technical Issues, Business Decisions, Legal Matters Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics

2 2 Contents Building a WEB Site Pricing Electronic Subscriptions Providing Restricted Access Adding an Archive Final Remarks

3 3 Building a WEB Site 1997 Site with contents, abstracts and comprehensive index 1999 Moved up from a print to print+electronic journal 2004 Added backfiles Site is text based. Internal links kept at a minimum

4 4 Abstracts author provided, in HTML, without any TeX. References have to be explicit. No keywords and subject classification numbers. All abstracts are on one page. Abstracts meant for mathematicians. MathReviews, Zentralblatt, ISI can download files for extracting metadata

5 5 Screenshot of an upcoming Contents and Abstracts page

6 6 No registering with CrossRef for DOI HJM has confidence in MathRev and Zbl that they can manage their files with their own identifiers. Laura Gasaway: “DOI content providers would not only control the indexing but also access to the indexing and through the index access to the digital object itself.”

7 7 Only one kind of PDF files. No hyperlinks or bookmarks. Print would look funny. Mathematicians don’t read from screen. And Acrobat allows for personal view. We were guided by the Philosophy of Project Gutenberg: Keep everything simple, electronic editions should be meaningful for later generations. HJM had no need for an electronic publisher HJM WEB site is mirrored by the math dept of Uni Zürich.

8 8 Pricing Electronic Subscriptions Print and electronic editions are sharing the same upfront expenses for production of final PDF files. For print add: printing +mailing expenses For electronic add: work for updating WEB site. ALA recommends 20% discount for electronic subscriptions

9 9 Fact: Printers charge primarily for #pages per issue and not so much for #copies. Price for 300 copies or 1000 copies essentially the same. Increase in #pages matters a lot! Result: Discount for electronic editions hurts publisher.

10 10 Simple calculation: Typical commercial journal, 2000 pages per year, $1,000 subscriptions for print, 800 subscribers. Printing costs: $40,000, 5% of $800,000 subscription revenue Assuming 10% discount for electronic-only to 400 subscribers results in a loss of about $36,000!

11 11 For HJM, printing and mailing costs make up about 50% of revenue! Discount for electronic-only would reduce revenue for the same reason. For independent journals, a lower price for electronic subscriptions would probably not increase # of subscriptions. Commercial journals are so expensive that libraries drop print even for a small discount for electronic subscriptions.

12 12 Free electronic access: This might be suicidal. Why pay for print if online access is free. And if print disappears, then what?? Free electronic with print: HJM decided on that. Most convenient, e.g., for agencies and it makes good business sense. Major societal publishers are doing the same, like AMS and SIAM.

13 13 Springer Verlag offers enhanced subscriptions for print and electronic. Duke Math. J offers a 1% discount for electronic only but print+electronic for an 11% surcharge. Indiana Univ. Math. J. offers a 20% discount for electronic only. Illinois J. Math still offers free online access. Geometry and Topology dropped free access.

14 14 Providing Restricted Access HJM decided on access by IP numbers. Proxy servers are allowed But what kind of access: Only current issues? Or access to all previous issues? Should all access cease with cancellation or maintained for issues the subscriber had paid for?

15 15 Options depend on how the publisher has implemented restricted access. Apache: all restricted files are in one directory, called “restricted”, can contain any number of subdirectories and folders. Files called “.htrestricted” contain allowed IP numbers. HJM decided that it can maintain only one.htaccess files

16 16 Consequently: access means access to all restricted files and cancellation means loss of all access. Input from subscribers: Mostly positive. Typical response: “The library paid only for print and it got what it had paid for. If it cancels there is nothing to complain about!” Online access to digital material does not provide ownership of anything! My impression: Libraries don’t want to buy journals on CD’s!

17 17 Online access requires a license! Publisher sets up the terms and conditions how digital material can be used!! What is a license? Carrie Russel, Copyright specialist of the ALA: “Licenses are private contracts between two parties…Once a license agreement is signed, the agreement takes precedence over any rights libraries or users may enjoy under the federal copyright law.”

18 18 HJM license addresses all the usual points but of importance are only two clauses: 1. License holder must inform HJM about cancellations to have access removed 2. Files cannot be used for ILL’s 1. requires that the subscriber adheres to some sort of honor code. Violation of 1. constitutes theft of service

19 19 Exclusion of files for ILL’s is a hotly debated issue. Pay-Per-View viable alternative. HJM license similar to the one for AMS journals. At least a dozen institutions have helped to polish our license. I dislike the “Standard License Agreement” promoted by Yale University.

20 20 Ill’s no longer meet standard criteria of what should constitute a loan. “Borrower” does not return anything to the “lender”. Copyright Acts, USCode 108, 109 granted libraries exemptions. Exemptions apply only to paper based documents.

21 21 Yale: Files should be allowed if used for printouts to be faxed and then destroyed. I disagree. One cannot dictate that outdated technology must be used. What to do in case of violation of clause 1? HJM mails a termination letter, approved by the UH legal department: Violator no longer qualifies for free online access. Would be subject to further negotiations.

22 22 Adding an Archive HJM archiving: 25 volumes,15,000 pages. Costs: Same as printing and mailing of one current print issue. Including backfiles in a subscription: Great advertising tool for getting new subscribers. Online access provides full run of the journal. Moving wall would make new subscriptions less attractive.

23 23 Final Remarks Future belongs to electronic subscriptions Illegal copying hurts everybody Commercial publishers stress “hidden” values: IP, DOI, usage statistics Independent journals have inherent advantages: efficient production, small personnel, more academic policies etc Future for independents looks safe!


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