In two societies of which I am a member, Elsevier and Springer pay an editor to attend, to present…
Professor Timothy Bates
1

Hi Timothy. Thank you for comment!

You outline several discretionary payments from publishers to the research community, but Collabra is an attempt to hard-code such a value sharing notion into the business model of a journal. The (admittedly provocative) way I framed the question was purely to illustrate that even very low percentages of revenue, operationally shared with the research community by only 3 publishers, would yield a significant amount of money which would be put to good use. And when one considers the amount of value that the research community adds to journal operations and the journal publishing industry as a whole, then I do wonder whether it would be something in which the research community could legitimately wish to have more share? If it were more common to share the success of a journal in this way across ALL stakeholders, including the research community of reviewers and editors, I believe we would all celebrate the successes of such profitable businesses much more. I would welcome any publisher hacking and using our value-sharing idea and model.

Regarding our costs: I know for certain that our APC cost of $875 (but effectively $625 excluding the portion we give to the community) is based on a calculation from the ground up of what our high quality operation actually costs, and not on a price point that we believe the market can bear, nor a price that is required to transition a subscription business to an OA business, which is the reality that many legacy subscription publishers face. I’m not sure about your comment on PeerJ, which, until recently, solely used a membership model whereby all authors paid a minimum of $99 lifetime membership to publish (with certain conditions outlined here). The cost per submission would depend on the number of authors per paper, and whether it was their first submission. They have recently added an APC option of $695, very similar to ours, which gives me confidence we (new entrants) are all on the right lines with a “from-scratch” APC price for a research article.

Again, thank you for engaging with the post! To reiterate: my intent was to raise a question as to how we could better share and spread the considerable amount of money flowing around the publishing ecosystem with EVERYONE, and not just the publishing industry. Collabra will develop and adjust its model over time to always to do the best in can in this regard.

Best wishes,

Dan Morgan, Publisher

(Transparency statement: I worked for 13 years at Elsevier, most recently as an Executive Publisher of the Psychology journals program (c. 50 of them), and then a final year as Senior Manager of (Open) Access outreach in North America, so I am deeply familiar with, and have detailed knowledge of, the financial realities and business strategy there, at least up until May 2014.)

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