I would add that not only do we write the text, do the reviewing, etc.
but also that to a considerable extent the time we spend
in doing this scholarship, as well as the data-generating research,
is paid for with public funds;
so the products of our labors could be regarded as public goods.
I think the profession of University Librarians would be more than eager to
help bring about a major change on this, but it needs to be an effort by the
broad academic community.
From: David H Kirshner [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: MCA suscription prices
On the editorial board of Journal for Research in Mathematics Education,
which is published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, we
successfully lobbied the NCTM board to provide some free issues to
university libraries in developing countries. --I don't know if a
commercial publisher would agree to this sort of give-away. But the larger
question is why do these commercial publishing houses still exist. We write
the text, we provide the editors and reviewers, and in this communications
technologies era we don't much need the publishing houses for production or
distribution. It seems it's only the inertia of habit and tradition that
maintain the status quo. That said, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates publisher
of MCA is one of the few that seems not to gouge its customers with
excessively high prices. Our library routinely pays thousands of dollars
for a single annual subscription to some of the scientific publishers.
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