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ACS Division of Chemical Information - Highlights from 228th Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2004, Of Interest to Librarians

:: The 228th ACS National Meeting was held in Philadelphia in August, 2004. A selection of slide presentations from some of the 98(!) sessions of the Division of Chemical Information are available for viewing on the web site. On the ReedElsevier discussion list, Joe Kraus noted that Karen Hunter of Elsevier gave a presentation on open access:

CINF 31: Elsevier: A commercial publisher's perspectives on Open Access Karen Hunter, Elsevier, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, k.hunter AT elsevier.com

Abstract: The publishing industry, academia, and scientific research itself, have gone through a tidalwave of change since the emergence of the internet. During the early days of the transition to online publishing, many perceived a revolution of science in the making. Today, usage of scientific journals online has doubled year on year, indicating that scientific information is reaching users like never before. At the same time, library budgets continue to be reduced and libraries are forced to make difficult decisions about collection development and access. Various forms of "pay to publish" models are surfacing, as well as alternative distribution models. Now once again, revolution is in the air. This presentation will include proprietary Elsevier research and focus on Elsevier's view, as a commercial publisher, on Open Access and related activities, such as Open Archiving and institutional repositories, as well as the general outlook for the future.

Dana Roth commented on Hunter's presentation:
Thanks to Joe for this 'heads up'. It is interesting to see the cost/article for varying from $10K down (Science) to $3.8K (estimated STM mean cost).

One suspects that Science is dividing their total cost of production by the number of research articles.

The AIP is offering 'open access' for $2K (in 2005 for J. Math. Phys., Rev. Sci. Instrum. & Chaos), in contrast with Springer's charge of $3K.

Acta Crystallography is offering it at $800 (450GBP), which includes "editorial and production costs of editing, markup, hyperlinking, validation and assembly of an article and any associated supplementary materials".

Optics Express is charging $450 (for 6 pages or less)and $800 (for 7-15 pages), but is specifically not offering copy editing.

**It would be nice to have a tabulation of journals and 'open access' charges so, if you have info on others, please post.

Dana also noted in a subsequent e-mail:

Here are two more.

Tom McIlrath of the APS gives a figure of $1500 for the cost of a Phys. Rev. article.

In Lorrin Garson's article in Accounts of Chemical Research, 'Communicating Original Research in Chemistry and Related Sciences' Acc. Chem. Res., 37 (3), 141 -148, 2004, he states that "The production cost per manuscript for ACS journals in 2002 was $1544 exclusive of paper, printing, and distribution, which is remarkably close to PLoS's $1500 fee." This figure was taken from: Bovenschulte, R. D. Costs of Publication. Presented at The National Academies Symposium on Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and its Implications, Washington, DC, May 19-20, 2003.

David Goodman added:
With respect to the APS, I have received conflicting information: there is the $1500 you mention, but AIP estimates it at $2000, and since they do the production for APS, it is a little puzzling. ACS has given higher estimates in the past, as well.
Other presentations of interest from the ACS Division of Chemical Information meeting, featuring a number on open access issues (no pun intended), include:


During the UK House of Commons Science and Technology inquiry into scientific publications Bob Campbell in oral evidence said that the per paper revenue for Blackwell journals was 1,250. As Blackwell is a successful publisher I guess we can assume that the costs are lower than this.

(See http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmsctech/399/4030103.htm, answer to Question 35, for details.)

I'm not sure what use a graph is that gives only the average and higher! Also, surely Karen Hunter would know the Elsevier figure and so why not include that as a data point?

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