[LINK] Academic publishing viable in Australia?

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Dec 11 08:40:04 AEDT 2006

 From "The end of the paper trail", Rosemary Neill, The Australian, 
December 09, 2006: 

"CAROLYN Leach-Paholski was tickled pink when her first novel was 
accepted by academic publishing house Pandanus Books. ... Just days 
after The Grasshopper Shoe's launch last year, Leach-Paholski learned 
Pandanus was to be closed down. ...

The publisher, set up in 2001 under the auspices of the Australian 
National University, was in debt to the tune of $170,000 and the 
university was no longer prepared to subsidise it. Instead, Pandanus 
would be absorbed into the university's electronic press, ANU E Press ...

Australia's most prominent university presses, the University of 
Queensland Press and Melbourne University Press, have undergone 
radical restructures in recent times, including drastic staff cuts. 
In 2003, MUP shed most of its staff as part of a commercial overhaul; 
UQP has survived an exodus of senior staff and a $3.5 million debt 
burden. The ANU's vice-chancellor Ian Chubb said earlier this year 
the university could no longer afford to subsidise the loss-making 
Pandanus as it fell outside the core activities of teaching and 
research. (Chubb did not respond to Review's requests for an interview.)..."

Also Vic Elliott, Director, Scholarly Information Services and 
University Librarian at The Australian National University talked on 
Electronic publishing at Australian universities at the NLA  November 
27, 2006 

I agree with the VC, but even low cost e-publishing university 
operations will need some work on their business models to be 
commercially viable 
Universities need to be clear about why they are doing e-publishing: 
is it as a commercial operation, or a subsidized one to aid scholarly 
communication. There is a danger that by trying to do both, they will 
achieve neither.

With the ACS Digital Library we are seeing if advertising will cover 
the costs. It will take about a year to find the answer 
<http://dl.acs.org.au/>. But the reason the ACS is publishing 
journals and conference proceedings is to provide information about 
research and practice in IT, not to make money. If we cover the 
costs, that would be good.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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