A Call for Change in Academic Publishing | Henry Hagedorn | 2000 | Journal of Insect Science
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-08-03
"Open Letter: I have resigned as Editor of Archives to start an online journal for insect biology produced in collaboration with the Library of The University of Arizona. The new journal has the potential to change the way we share information in our discipline. Below you will find a detailed explanation of my motivation for starting the new journal and some details of the journal as well.
I resigned because I strongly feel that commercial publishers are ripping academic scholars off. By being an editor for Archives I was an accomplice to highway robbery. Archives was started by Allen Press in 1986 at a cost of $250 to institutions. In a few years the journal published about 65 papers each year. The price started to increase when the journal was acquired by Wiley-Liss in 1990. By 1996 an institutional subscription was over $1000 and today it is $2000. Yet, with a few exceptions, the journal continued to publish only about 65 papers a year!
Why has Archives increased the cost of an institutional subscription by nearly an order of magnitude since 1986 without an equivalent increase in the number of papers published? Based on a 60% increase in the consumer price index since 1986 one might have expected the cost of an institutional subscription to increase from $250 to $400, not $2,000. Making some assumptions about the cost of publishing and income generated from subscriptions, I suspect that Wiley-Liss is making a profit of about $500,000 per year on this rather small journal. What is the real cost to society of the scientific work published in this journal? About $2 million in grant costs and salaries per year, borne mainly by granting agencies and research institutions...."