How ESA can give free WWW access to all its articles
n years after publication

E-Mail to Electronic Publication Implementation Committee (EPIC), Entomological Society of America (ESA). [edited]

Thomas J. Walker, 24 July 1997

I agree that EPIC should not fret about the GB limiting access to ESA e-reprints. Instead EPIC should learn from what has transpired thus far and move forward. Therefore let’s consider other ways for ESA to provide new e-publication services without risking its revenue flow. When EPIC identifies a candidate service, ESA staff should analyze the fiscal implications. If their analysis is favorable, EPIC should prepare a formal recommendation for the Publications Council and the Governing Board to act on in December.

The rest of this message outlines a new service that ESA might provide. Let’s discuss it via EPIC’s listserv and vote whether to pursue it further.

New Service

Make all articles published in ESA journals freely accessible on WWW n years after publication; n should be as low as possible without threatening current subscriptions.

(and estimated annual Costs)

(1) Make PDF files of all articles at the time the original articles are published.

(2) Archive all PDF files and their source files.

(3) n years after paper publication, post all articles on one or more library servers.
Distribute CD’s to 10 major libraries throughout the world.

How would it be paid for?

Profits from e-reprints exceed profits from traditional reprints by about $8.50 per page. [Staff need to update or verify this estimate.] If ESA sells e-reprints of 20% of its articles, the additional revenue will be at least $10,200.

[“At least,” because whenever authors buy both types of reprints, the per page profit of paper reprints (ca. $9.16) need not be deducted from the per page profit of e-reprints (ca. $17.63) to calculate the additional revenue generated by e-reprints.]

What are the benefits?

(1) ESA would be providing a valuable new service to entomology and to ESA members and authors.

(2) The new service should help ESA maintain its present members and might attract new ones.

This assumes that researchers are eager to have their refereed work easily available to everyone a few years after publication.

(3) It could increase subscription revenue by attracting new members.

This assumes that researchers will join ESA and submit manuscripts to ESA journals in order to make their work freely available n years after publication. (They might also join for the opportunity to buy earlier Internet access to their articles.)

(4) If n were 2, it could be called ESA’s millennium project.

(and Responses)

(1) ESA would lose royalty income.

(2) Sales of e-reprints will be reduced.

(3) ESA staff is too busy with new e-publication projects to take on another.

(4) Libraries will stop binding ESA journals, and may discard issues after n years.

(5) It has not been done before.