If we return to our two questions-progress and cost recovery-we can see that our progress is satisfactory but that cost recovery is still uncertain.
BMCR is growing at the rate of 30% a year. The major American classics organization (The American Philological Association) has about 3,000 members, and on that basis we estimate very roughly that the total world population of classicists is somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000. BMCR, then, presently reaches between 22% and 32% of its total market. Presumably, only half of that market has access to computers, so BMCR's real penetration may be over 50%. If so, at its present rate of growth, BMCR may saturate its market in as few as five years. It is much more difficult to estimate the total world market for BMMR, but it is certainly greater than that for BMCR. With BMMR's present growth rate of perhaps 30%, it will take somewhat longer to reach saturation.
BMCR unrecovered costs are about $4,000 per year for over 700 pages of reviews. About half the cost goes for producing the paper version, and we anticipate costs of between $1,500 and $2,000 per year for preparing reviews for the Web. Uncompensated editorial time averages 34 hours per month. Therefore, total out-of-pocket expenses could be as high as $6,000 if the paper version con-
tinues and if markup continues to be done by hand. A third possible reduction in costs besides elimination of the paper version and automatic markup is a "fasttrack" system whereby the review never leaves the Net: it is e-mailed to the editor, who sends it to a member of the editorial board; when the two have made changes, it is sent back to the reviewer for approval and then published on the Net. The great advantage for the reviewer is that this system cuts publication time by a month; the disadvantage is that the reviewer is asked to do some simple markup on the text before sending it.
Possible revenue sources include advertising, subscriptions, and institutional support. As we have seen, our subscribers much prefer receiving advertising to paying for a subscription, but we have no idea how successful we will be in attracting advertising. Hal Varian has suggested that we try to arrange something with Amazon Books, and we have made a tentative agreement to list their URL on our Web reviews. We will not consider charging for subscriptions until BMCR is
on the Web; at that point we could charge for timely delivery of the review, perhaps several months before universal access. We also want to wait for wide acceptance of a simple electronic cash transfer system. Institutional support seems to us the most obvious way to cover costs, since the college gets considerable exposure for what seems to us a small cost.