JHEP will convert from toll-free-access to toll-based access

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogprints.soton.ac.uk
Fri Jan 25 07:52:33 EST 2002


On November 12 2001, IOPP and SISSA announced that the Journal of
High Energy Physics (JHEP), the most important and successful new
toll-free-access (i.e., online-only, free full-text access) journal
to date, will convert to subscription-based access at the end
of 2002: http://www.iop.org/Physics/News/0346j

I think it might have been preferable for JHEP to try to hang in there
for a few more years, as a toll-free-access journal, subsidized by
SISSA and INFN, as it had been. This would give self-archiving more
time to prepare the journal publication system as a whole for the
transition to toll-free-access, by freeing access to more and more of
the refereed literature in all disciplines (20,000+ journals), and
allowing subscription cancellation pressure to grow. The growing annual
windfall savings from the institutional cancellations would then become
available to cover the essential costs up-front, per outgoing research
paper, with access free, rather than per incoming journal, with access
toll-based, as it is now.

http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Tp/resolution.htm#4.2

This preparatory process of distributed institutional and discplinary
self-archiving, besides providing immediate toll-free-access, also puts
graduated pressure on journals to downsize to the essentials
(mainly peer review), for right now the access-tolls force-wrap into a
subscription many "value-added" enhancements that users may not
want or need (publisher's PDF, links, search, archiving). The
competing availability of the no-frills self-archived version of the
peer-reviewed papers from the author/institutions for free will
make it clear whether there is still any market for these add-ons. And,
obviously, any inessential features and services that can be dropped
mean lower costs to cover after the transition.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature online is available at the
American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01):

    http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/september98-forum.html
                            or
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/index.html

You may join the list at the amsci site.

Discussion can be posted to:

    september98-forum at amsci-forum.amsci.org 





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