Chapter 6— Electronic Publishing in Academia An Economic Perspective
1. Shirley Baker, talk at Washington University, November, 1996. [BACK]
2. Robin Frost, "The Electronic Gutenberg Fails to Win Mass Appeal," Wall Street Journal, 21 November 1996, B6. Project Gutenberg was a 25-year effort led by Michael S. Hart at the University of Illinois to create, store, and make accessible ASCII files of public domain materials from the Constitution, the Bible, Shakespeare, and beyond. [BACK]
3. A large part of the Project Gutenberg files were moved to the library at the University of Maryland after this essay was written. See http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/ReadingRoom/. [BACK]
4. Stephen Burd, "President Pushes Tax Breaks to Help Families Afford College," Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 January 1997, A33. [BACK]
5. www.ei.org [BACK]
6. http://xxx.lanl.gov/ [BACK]
7. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/ offers 1,373 images of Egyptian papyri with a significant database of descriptive textual material. [BACK]
8. http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu/ [BACK]
9. http://gdbwww.gdb.org/ [BACK]
10. The headquarters publishes Job Openings in Economics (JOE) seven times a year with nearly 1,500 job announcements. In 1995, JOE had about 4,000 subscribers and generated about $41,000 of revenue with a base rate of $15.00 per year ($7.50 for students, $25.00 for nonmembers and institutions). The sum of monthly printing and mailing costs was associated with the number of copies produced and the number of pages per copy for 1995 and 1996 as follows (with t-ratios in parenthesis):
print & mail = -1,129.57 + 0.875 # of copies + 76.725 pages per issue (-2.83) (7.35) (17.2)
This relationship is estimated from data on each of 14 issues over the two years and has an adjusted R-square of 0.957. During this period of time, JOE averaged 25 pages per issue (the range was from 11 to 51). With seven issues per year, this equation forecasts total printing and mailing costs of $30,019 for 4,000 copies.
JOE became available without charge in 1994 ( http://www.eco.utexas.edu/joe/ ). The JOE site generated about 25,000 hits per month in 1996, and the subscription list of the printed JOE dropped to 1,000. The print and mail relationship estimated above forecasts a cost of $11,645 for 1,000 copies. The association will move from a net revenue position of $11,000 ($41,000 - $30,019) in the all-print regime to about a zero net ($15,000 - $11,645) with print subscription sales at about 1,000. Of course, the association incurs fixed costs in producing JOE that may be similar under both regimes.
The headquarters also publishes a directory of membership biennially. The directory became available on-line at the University of Texas in 1995 and is getting about 4,600 hits per month. Because the directory comes with membership, we have no measure of the rate of decline in the demand for the print version. [BACK]
11. At some point in the future, membership ballots might be solicited and received by the Internet. [BACK]
12. The AER's reviewing process is double-blind, with author's names withheld from reviewers and reviewer's names kept from authors. When nearly all working papers are posted on the World Wide Web, the refereeing may become single-blind de facto. Anyone who wants might search the title listing in the working paper file and so identify the author. When working papers are generally accessible on the Net, they would seem to be usable in the editorial process with some saving in cost but with some loss in anonymity. [BACK]
13. The fixed costs of a print run (but not typography) would be eliminated entirely if print were abandoned completely. The fixed costs of electronic distribution would replace them in part. Presumably, the more sophisticated the electronic files submitted by authors, the lower the fixed cost of production at the publisher. [BACK]
14. Since 1995, the association has made the JEL available in CD-ROM format instead of print for the same price. The CD-ROM costs about the same to produce on the margin per subscriber as a printed issue of a large journal. The CD-ROM contains the page images of the published journal and is distributed by mail. Its advantage is not reduced cost but increased subscriber benefit: it adds the power of electronic searching. Therefore, this version is gaining popularity. More than 10% of the AEA's members opted for the CD-ROM version of JEL in 1996. [BACK]
15. The annual meeting contributed a net of about $125,000 in 1995. [BACK]
16. Assume the current library subscription rate of $140 from 5,500 subscribers yields 20% of the AEA's gross and that membership plus ads from 21,000 members yields $70, about 40%. Assume the shift to electronic distribution lowers total expenditures by 20%. Doubling the library rate to $280, if all libraries subscribed, would keep AEA revenues constant. [BACK]
17. The notion of doubling the library subscription rate in setting a rate for the campus intranet license is meant to define the association's probable revenue goals, but not to define the rate structure. The rate structure will need to be tied to something more substantial, like enrollment and total research dollars. Alternatively, the rate could be set on the basis of a forecast of the hit rate. OCLC's electronic journal service sets rates on the basis of the number of simultaneous users. The level of rates would likely be set so as to yield about double the current library print subscriptions unless other revenue is forthcoming as discussed in subsequent paragraphs. [BACK]
18. Here is part of the language the AEA prints on the copyright page: "Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or direct commercial advantage and that copies show this notice on the first page or initial screen of a display along with the full citation, including the name of the author." [BACK]
19. Jared Sandberg ("Cash Advances Aid Electronic Commerce," Wall Street Journal, 30 September 1996, B8) reports an offering from CyberCash, a firm working with Visa and several banks. Cybercash put the cost of a transaction between $.08 and $.31 for purchases between $.25 and $10.
http://www.millicent.digital.com describes the protocols and tools developed by Digital Equipment Corporation to facilitate Web transactions in fractions of cents. "The key innovations of Millicent are its use of brokers and of scrip. Brokers take care of account management, billing, connection maintenance, and establishing accounts with vendors. Scrip is microcurrency that is only valid within the Millicent-enabled world." [BACK]
20. Draft essay at ftp://alfred.sims.berkeley.edu/pub/Papers/dlib.html. [BACK]
21. See Malcolm Getz, "Petabytes of Information," in Advances in Library Administration and Organization, XII (JAI Press, 1994), 203-37. Here are some features that might be added to the network working paper service: Each association member might receive a private password and encryption key. When the member submits a paper with the password and key, the service would return a time-stamped digital authentication message. This message and the posting would establish ownership to the working paper at the time of submission. The working paper service might include a more elaborate system of tagging papers, including the author's sense of the target audience, degree of originality, sophistication, empirical content, and revision number. The service might include links to comments. [BACK]
22. E. Jacquelin Dietz, "The Future of the Journal of Statistics Education," North Carolina State University, mimeo, 1996. [BACK]
23. The issue of optimal pricing for three products that share a fixed cost and in which cross elasticities are not zero should be explored formally. [BACK]
24. David Carpenter and Malcolm Getz, "Evaluation of Library Resources in the Field of Economics: A Case Study," Collection Management 20, no. 1/2 (1995), 49-89. [BACK]
25. See Malcolm Getz, "Information Storage," Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science 52, supplement 15 (1993), 201-39. High-density off-site storage might yield an annual cost of $.30 per volume and so about $3.00 of capital cost. [BACK]
26. OCLC's Electronic Journals Online (EJO) preceded the Web-based program. With EJO, OCLC charged publishers for mounting their journals, much like printers charge for printing. This approach did not attract many publishers. The OCLC Web site ( www.OCLC.org ) lists several titles. Here is a sample of subscription rates.
The Online Journal of Current Clinic Trials from Chapman & Hall, distributed by OCLC: Institutional, $220; Individual, $120; Student (with ID), $49; Network (unlimited access), $3,000.
Online Journal of Knowledge Synthesis for Nursing from Sigma Theta Tau International, distributed by OCLC: Individuals, $60; Institutions, $250. [BACK]
27. OCLC, "Bringing Your Publications Online With OCLC" (Dublin, Ohio, ca. 1996) and OCLC, "A Complete Electronic Journals Solution for Your Library" (Dublin, Ohio, ca. 1996). [BACK]
28. Malcolm Getz, John J. Siegfried, and Kathryn H. Anderson, "Adoption of Innovations in Higher Education," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 37(3) (Fall 1997): 605-31. [BACK]
29. http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals.tcl. SNDE is one of six electronic journals offered by the MIT Press in 1996. The library rate includes a license to store the journal on a campus facility and make it available in library reserve services. The MIT Press puts the subscription rate at $30 for individuals and $125 for libraries, with a $12 fee for downloading an individual article. [BACK]