Journals' value

October 19, 2017

Re “Publishers vs ResearchGate: an academic’s view” (Opinion, 10 October). It is increasingly clear that publishers have done a poor job of explaining to the research community just what it is that we do.

We are a service industry – journals perform a long list of services for researchers, meeting important needs that they have for things such as dissemination, registration, designation, filtration and verification of results. And doing these things, particularly doing these things well, with rigour and care, costs money.

Subscription journals generally provide those services to authors for free, and the researcher passes the costs along to consumers through sales of the content. One of the benefits of some open access models is that it makes this a direct transaction – the researcher pays directly for the services rendered.


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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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