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Mon, 26 Nov 2007

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Publishing Houses vs. Academics


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A quotable quote on the journal publishers vs. academics issue. Here is a snippet of conversation that took place between the Elsevier guy and Sunder.

Elsevier:
All these people who want open access journals are like the people who go to a supermarket and want to get peanut butter for free.
Sunder:
I guess we are OK with paying for peanut butter. But we are being asked to pay caviar prices for peanut butter.

A little later, the Elsevier guy is explaining how they really do not want to reduce prices, they just want to give us "value for money".

Elsevier:
We want to give offer you the best caviar so that you'll gladly pay for it.
Sunder:
I think we are quite happy with peanut butter. So if your up-market store is only going to keep caviar then we'll go to the corner shop and buy our peanut butter.

I think this conversation amply explains the divide between the big publishing houses and the academic community. They want to dish out caviar and rake in the big moolah that goes with it. Academics are (for the most part) quite happy with peanut butter and wonder why we are being asked to buy caviar or pay for it.


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