Output -RIOJA -Costs and sustainability: overlay journal costs

Title: Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives:costs estimates and sustainability issues

Pages: 12-16
Summary of contents:

The report sets out the costs for each of the four identified core functions of a journal:


first copy costs – editorial board, assigning reviewers etc., support and admin –
“Consultants in SQW Limited (2004) reported that first copy costs for a good to high quality journal are
estimated around – average price – $1500 ($1650 including first copy and fixed costs).”
however, “Harnad (2000) …indicates that conducting the peer review electronically and for papers residing in an open access archive could cost about 1/3 less of the actual page cost.”
ArXiv uses a low cost system of endorsement ($1-5 per item) in which previous submitters vouch for the relevancy of new work.

p13-p14 Note survey finding that there is no consensus on the issue of open or closed peer review.
p14 “King & Tenopir (2000) list the following activities in article processing: manuscript receipt processing, initial disposition decision making, identifying reviewers or referees, review processing, subject editing, special graphic and other preparation, formatting, copy editing, processing author approval, indexing, coding. There are also significant indirect costs – costs not directly associated with a particular process, such as administrative and managerial costs. Rowland reports costs for peer review in the range of $200-$400 per paper, including administrative support, for a journal with rejection rate of 50%.”

p14-15 This covers current awareness and related dissemination tools and activities. The survey has noted the importance of such functions to the community using arXiv. RIOJA comments p15 “The awareness functions provided by arXiv and other repositories could clearly reduce central overheads for a repository-overlaid journal.” (see comment)

This section briefly discusses how an overlay journal would need to ensure the preservation of accepted content. The section has little specific discussion of the practicalities and problems of preservation outside of the context of arXiv but does make a very useful suggestion in that on demand printing services are available ‘for printing paper versions of the journal’s issues at a cost of less than $250, including shipping and handling.’ (p16)

Awareness – while it’s true that a repositories alerting services could reduce the need for an overlay journal to have such services, there is a tnesion here that the project doesn’t note (afaik) – not offering these services would significantly reduce the overlay journal’s visibility/ identity. not offering these services could have a direct impact on the visibiilty and ‘impact’ of the the journal. However, in the context of a journal based on items from a single repository (such as arxiv) the point is well made that this service is carried out anyway. [not clear if project thinks this though]

Archiving – though this costing largely sidesteps the issue of digital preservation the suggestion that (at least in the short term) copies of record could be printed on demand appears a significantly less expensive option than the current printing process.

Throughout the costing there is a heavy reliance on the ‘unique’ / ‘mature’ context of arXiv. It is not yet clear which of these characteristics of arXiv has had the stronger effect.

This examination of costing contributes to identifying relevant shared infrastructure services and assessing their feasibility.

Date Released: July 2008

URI for Output: http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/12562/1/12562.pdf

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