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1 Some Recent Issues on the Business of Journal Publishing:An Independent Point of View Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics

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Presentation on theme: "1 Some Recent Issues on the Business of Journal Publishing:An Independent Point of View Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Some Recent Issues on the Business of Journal Publishing:An Independent Point of View Klaus Kaiser Houston Journal of Mathematics

2 2 Contents Should Independent Journals do their own Electronic Archiving Management of the Archive and Delivery of Electronic Documents Various Ways to Sell a Journal Some Thoughts on the Pay-Per-View Option The Problem of Assigning ISSN Numbers for Electronic Editions Data Object Identifier, CrossRef and Metadata Conclusion

3 3 Should Independent Journals Do Their Own Archiving? The most prominent publishers have come up with different answers: Springer journals are archived (for free?) by the GDZ. GDZ provides free access! GDZ invites also smaller, independent journals. Primarily from Central Europe. Elsevier has an in-house program with the Archive as an additional commercial unit. AMS uses JSTOR which is very expensive. Archiving contributes to the idea of The Digital Mathematics Library, DML.

4 4 After a careful analysis, HJM decided to do its own archiving: HJM had already established a comprehensive index of all published issues: Recent titles were already linked to TOCs. The blueprint for the Archive had already been laid out. The digitizer could work from the index in order to create TOCs. For HJM there was only some minor additional work: Like, to correct on TOCs last page number for papers with an odd number of pages. Besides the usual costs of scanning, there were only $250 for programming setup.

5 5 Most important benefit of having the archive on the premises: Continual forward/backward linking of related articles. Technical Issues: Choice of File Format and additional features. HJM chose PDF. The only other serious contender, DjVu, is far less popular and has advantages that are important only for photographs and graphics. Not an issue for journals like HJM. 400 dpi is fully sufficient. Many volumes of older issues were originally prepared as camera ready copies from IBM ballhead typewriters and simple lasers. Also JSTOR uses 300 dpi and is known for decent printouts. The GDZ uses 600 dpi. OCR can become very important, e.g., when files are eventually stored at large repositories, e.g., DMLs or file servers run by the subscription agencies. JSTOR has added OCR but the GDZ has not. HJM has added OCR.

6 6 File unit: Individual papers for posting on the WEB. Individual issues or volumes can be delivered on CDs. HJM funds paid for the Archive. HJM tried to get outside funding but it didnt work out. HJM had offered free unrestricted access in exchange. HJM provides now access to its Archive for free, but only for subscribing libraries that have agreed to the HJM License Agreement Form: Most important points: No ILLs. Immediate access to all previous issues regardless of subscription history. All access privileges cease with cancellation.

7 7 Pay-Per-View has been put on the backburner. Currently only publishers can provide a PPV service that also includes requests from individuals. Accepting credit card payments is a stumbling block. Requests from individuals are currently honored as a matter of courtesy. Archived issues lack individual abstracts. Should links to MR and Zentralblatt serve as substitute? Sounds like a good idea. Some journals (e.g., those archived by Project Euclid and the French digitizing project Numdam) are doing this. Because only a link is provided, this is probably not a copyright issue. But should papers be linked to reviews? Problem: A reviewer writes his assessment with the understanding to be published in the reviews and not become in any way a fixture of the reviewed paper.

8 8 Confronted with this issue, an overwhelming majority of HJM editors voted that HJM should not provide links from papers to reviews. Links from reviews to papers are less problematic and even desirable. Should libraries be able to buy the whole Archive? I think the answer should be YES. But currently most libraries are satisfied with buying access and not files. However, amongst major libraries, Berkeley has already expressed strong interest. Of course, price could be a factor, as well as copyright agreements.

9 9 Various Ways to sell a Journal Traditionally: In print to libraries as volumes in form of annual subscriptions More recent: Online access to current and previous issues. With or without print subscription Latest Trend: Pay-Per-View, sale of files for individual papers Extreme Commercialism: Sale of enhanced abstracts, that is abstracts as PDF files together with the list of references

10 10 Some thoughts on the Pay-Per-View Option PPV is gaining popularity. Offered by commercials as well as academic publishers But is PPV useful? Not according to a 2001study of Stanford University Libraries. Only 12% of respondents found it useful. Urgent need only reason. Control group consisted primarily of medical researcher. Restricted to mathematicians need for PPV is probably minimal Libraries may consider PPV as only option to make an expensive journal partially available For non academic institutions substitute for maintaining a library

11 11 For inexpensive journals, PPV is not an attractive option for libraries PPV ranges between $15-$30 for math papers, this amounts to a ppp between $1 and $2. Not unusual for commercial journals but for independent journals, $0.1 -$0.17 is the norm. For a few downloads, a library could buy a whole volume. PPV raises academic concerns: Possible conflict with offprints and authors posting files. The Wiley solution: No more free offprints; authors receive a low resolution PDF file and are allowed only a limited number of printouts

12 12 PPV as service for non-academic institutions and for providing files of archived papers does not cause conflicts with the authors rights to distribute their own papers freely. Most subscription agencies provide PPV only for their own academic clientele and only when they are allowed to host the journal. To be effective, PPV must be provided on the journals Website. For academic journals this poses the problem of accepting credit card payments and of related bookkeeping. HJM is in holding mode. Possible Solution: Journal Delivery Services might work directly with files and not only from hard copies.

13 13 The Problem of Assigning ISSN Numbers for Electronic Editions Do electronic editions of a print journal need an additional ISSN number? Depends on your point of view. If it is like paperback versus hardcover: YES If it is like a CD included in a book: No For various other reasons, I feel the answer can be NO. Primary Reason for NO: Nobody has asked so far for another dumb number. Five Year Review of ISSN standard is now also leaning towards NO.

14 14 DOI, CrossRef, MetaData Basic idea: A unique number can be used to identify a file with its location (URL) on the WEB. Problem: URLs are not stable, usually change when publishers change. Publisher may move files around. Solution: Create for every document a unique #, the DOI (DataObjectIdentifier). An organization will keep track of its location on the WEB.

15 15 Implementation: A Publisher applies through an agency, e.g., CrossRef for a publisher ID. The DOI organizations assigns a nmber, say which here identifies Springer Verlag. The DOIs of all publications of Springer Verlag then have this number as prefix. prefix/suffix then constitutes the full DOI which must be submitted to CrossRef, together with MetaData in a specific format. For example serves as URL for an article in Numerische Mathematik while links to an article about SARS in Springers Intensive Care Medicine

16 16 Benefits: CrossRef provides reference linking, but only amongst its members. Members are the big commercial publishers plus members of Project Euclid. AMS has sent out mixed signals. Disadvantages: All sorts of fees for initial memberships, annual dues and individual registrations. Plus personnel costs. For math journals there are no immediate benefits. Reviews and Zentralblatt provide already to a high extent interlinking of the whole math literature which includes the past. HJM maintains a wait and see attitude. Currently, there are no tangible benefits. Off the Record: Is DOI/CrossRef already the white elephant of the internet?

17 17 Conclusion Recent developments, like DOI and PPV have been embraced by all major commercial publishers. Most of the independents have ignored DOI and PPV, for academic as well as economic reasons. I feel that Archiving should be done by the publisher. I dont see any compelling reason why an Archive should reside outside the publishers domain. Having all issues under one roof increases the value of the journals WEB site. Smaller publishers can do this more easily than larger ones.

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