Society Journals Superior in Price and Quality to Commercial Journals, but Should Still Consider OA

Kimberly Douglas and Dana L. Roth, Looming Threats To Society Journals, Chemical and Engineering News, November 20, 2006.

Now is not the time for members of professional scientific societies to be complacent or unengaged. The American Chemical Society Publications Division, as well as other learned society publishers, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, may be overly confident that the obvious high quality of their journals will ensure their position against commercial competitors.

In addition, when they resist open-access efforts, society publishers appear to be more aligned strategically with commercial publishers’ short-term perspective than with the research community’s need to easily access all relevant content over the long term.

Societies need to adhere closely to their members’ needs, even if that means a break with their for-profit counterparts. University faculty and administrators need to engage with librarians to ensure that the best decisions are being made for the long term….

It is time for library administrators to enforce and for university faculty and administrators to support a journal quality and cost-effectiveness metric….

If a given journal is so expensive that it is not cost-effective and is therefore not selected to be part of a library’s offerings, the individual readers can purchase needed articles themselves, order them through Interlibrary Loan, or look for adequate substitutes on the Web. Such availability constitutes substitution for library purchases and is an important alternative to constrain commercial publishers’ unrelenting demand for cash….

Professional societies do a better job of combining quality and cost-effective publishing than most commercial publishers do….

Open Access News, 11/27/2006 01:59:07 PM.