In my notes, I focused on the presentation given by Andrew Stammer, Journals Publishing Director at CSIRO Publishing. Today I received an email from Andrew, responding to my post. Andrew has kindly permitted me to post his comments in full:
There are two points I’d like to explore further with you.
1. I did not say it was part of a publisher’s role to lobby. I did say that in response to the challenges presented by Open Access this publisher is doing the following:
- Striving for quality in content
- Striving for quality in delivery
- Promoting what we do
- Nurturing the relationships
- Offering OA options
- Engaging in the dialogue
Publishers do lobby to gain influence, just as proponents for OA lobby to gain influence. It’s how the game is played.
2. Costs of producing a journal also astonish me. You may be sure that if we could publish more cheaply, without compromising quality, we would. Your suggestion to try printing on demand is sound – indeed that is what we do. It is just that the demand it great, so we have to print a lot of copies. Our journals are available online as well as in print. Subscribers pay a significant premium to receive print in addition to the online version. I wonder why they keep ordering print, but they do, and so we supply it. Some publishers have forced the issue by stopping print versions. The American Geophysical Union is an instance of this, they will cease print in 2010. I know of another publisher that ceased print and suffered an erosion of subscriptions as a result. Our approach has been to let the subscribers decide. Perhaps difficult economic times will force this issue.