Journal publishers appeal to state funders for net progress

June 18, 1999

Publishers of non-scientific academic journals cannot get properly set up for the internet without government money, according to two recent Canadian grant recipients.

In April, the federal government announced it was giving three academic presses Can$ 207,600 (Pounds 88,500) to launch journals online. The presses of the universities of Montreal, Toronto and Wilfred Laurier are currently at different stages of introducing Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML) to their publishing process.

Anne Marie Corrigan, vice-president of journals at the University of Toronto Press, welcomed the help from a government department that targets funds to knowledge-based economic initiatives. She said the cost of finding qualified personnel for a highly technical endeavour such as this was just too high for a non-profit journal.

"Our journals are in the social sciences and humanities. There is just not as much money circulating in that area as in the sciences," said Ms Corrigan, whose press publishes the oldest law journal in the country as well as a quarterly dedicated to the humanities.

Going online has always been touted as a way to bring down the spiralling costs of libraries, many of which have had their journal budgets cut. But publishers are still deterred by the investment that is required. Sandra Woolfrey, director of Wilfred Laurier University Press, said it costs about Can$ 60,000 to implement SGML, which she said is far better for referencing, archiving and handling graphics than the simplified internet code of HTML.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns