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Roger Clarke's 'A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing'

A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing
Appendix 4: Association, with a Single eJournal

Version of 24 March 2006

This document is an Appendix to 'A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing'

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2005-06

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This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/JP-CP-ASJeJ.html


Category Description

This Appendix presents an indicative cost-profile for a particular kind of journal-publisher.

The organisational category addressed here is an Association that publishes a single journal, in an electronic version in XHTML and/or PDF format, primarily as a service to its members, and secondarily for subscribers and (probably on a deferred basis) the general public. The revenue model is based on allocation of a proportion of the membership-fee.

It is an eJournal, and there is no hard-copy edition. Alternatively, a hard-copy version could be offered as a spin-off from the eJournal production process. This could be cost-neutral, with an additional fee aimed at recovering the costs of a small print-run or print-on-demand, plus handling and postage.

The eJournal may be published periodically (probably monthly or quarterly), or spasmodically. But an eJournal does not have to be constrained to the concept of an 'Issue', and publishing may be continual, as articles come out of the production process. An eJournal similarly does not have to be limited by page-counts or article-counts. It might publish 20-100 articles p.a.

For the purposes of computing per-article costs, however, the eJournal is assumed to resemble a hard-copy journal converted to electronic form, and to comprise quarterly Issues, each with 7-8 articles, for a total of 30 articles p.a.

The following tables reflect Bot et al. (1998), and information acquired from editors of three eJournals.


Costs

Establishment Costs

1

Conception and articulation of the journal's name, scope, philosophy and modus operandiUndertaken by senior academics
2Preliminary negotiations within the intellectual communityUndertaken by senior academics
3Preliminary negotiations with potential providers of operational resourcesUndertaken by senior academics
4Preliminary negotiations with potential providers of infrastructureUndertaken by senior academics
5Acquisition of investment and working capitalUndertaken by senior academics
6Appointment of Board, Editor and Editorial Committee(s)Undertaken by senior academics
7Accumulation of Referees ListUndertaken by senior academics
8Acquisition of infrastructureUndertaken by senior academics, with some support from Association executives, and with the Web-site run probably using gratis, open source tools
9Acquisition of operational resourcesUndertaken by senior academics, but probably with a budget for an Assistant to the Editor
10Acquisition of intellectual property (logos, trademarks, copyrights, licences)Undertaken by senior academics, with some support from Association executives
11Preparation of formal components of the printed journal and web-siteUndertaken by senior academics, with some support from Association executives
12Preparation of web-siteSupervised by senior academics, with some support from Association executives, and undertaken by junior academics or students
13Announcement to the communityUndertaken by senior academics
14Issue of initial calls for papersUndertaken by senior academics

Operations Costs

• Submission-Related

1

Receipt, acknowledgement and management Editor, Editorial Committee and Referees, supported by a paid assistant, and possibly also by junior academics or students. A 0.1 equivalent full-time (EFT) staff-member, say $10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330 per article
2Conduct and management of the assessment processEditor, Editorial Committee and Referees, generally gratis, but possibly with an honorarium for the Editor, and possibly allowances, free advertising or similar partial recompense

• Article-Related

1

Production-editingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, partly by junior academics or students, and partly for-fee by an outsourced service provider. A 0.1 equivalent full-time (EFT) staff-member, say $10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330 per article
2CataloguingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, and partly by junior academics or students

• Issue-Related

1

EditorialEffort by the Editor
2Production-editingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, partly by junior academics or students, and partly for-fee by an outsourced service provider, but included within the production-editing costs immediately above

3ProductionFor the Web-site, by the Editor, partly supported by a junior academic or student
4ProtectionNone
5DistributionNetwork costs, absorbed by the Association

• Generic

1

MarketingLimited, undertaken primarily by senior academics, with some support by the Association
2Customer relationship managementAn Association responsibility and cost
3Archive managementAn Association responsibility and cost
4IndexingDependent on commercial search-engines such as Google, or using an on-site search-engine, probably open-source and gratis
5GovernanceUndertaken by the Editor and Editorial Committee, in conjunction with Association executives

Infrastructure-Maintenance Costs

1

Editor and Editorial Committee(s)Undertaken by senior academics
2A pool of refereesUndertaken by senior academics
3Communications channelsArranged by senior academics, supported by junior academics or students
4Norms for communications and formattingUndertaken by senior academics
5Production facilitiesUndertaken by the Editor and Editorial Committee, in conjunction with Association executives
6Subscription-list facilitiesUndertaken by the Editor and Editorial Committee, in conjunction with Association executives
7Distribution mechanismsUndertaken by the Editor and Editorial Committee, in conjunction with Association executives

Financial Costs

1

Interest on investment capitalVery little
2Interest on working capitalVery little

TOTAL COSTS

EstablishmentNil
Operations – Submission-Related$10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330 per article
Operations – Article-Related$10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330 per article
Operations – Issue-RelatedNegligible
Operations – GenericNegligible
Infrastructure MaintenanceNegligible
FinancialNegligible
TOTAL$20,000 p.a., $5,000 per Issue or $660 per article


Business Model

The undertaking is funded from the membership fees paid by Members of the Association, perhaps to some extent offset by non-member subscriptions (particularly libraries and other institutions) and advertising. For an Association of 10,000 Members, the publishing costs of the journal are up to about $2 p.a. (of a fee of perhaps $300). For a small specialist group of 250 members, on the other hand, the costs would be closer to $90 p.a.



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Created: 31 March 2005 - Last Amended: 24 March 2006 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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