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journals and publishing

Re: The recent postings on the Public Library of Science (PLS),
acoustics, and JASA.

        The Acoustical Society of America, which sets policy for
JASA, is dedicated to the promotion of acoustics. To those of us
in the administration of the ASA, the goals of the PLS for access
to the literature seem exactly right. However, there are practical

        Through its refereeing and editing functions the JASA publishing
procedure adds significant value to the articles. These publishing
activities are EXPENSIVE. The ASA can afford to publish JASA because
of income gained from library subscriptions. (This is actually true
of all AIP publications, including Phys. Rev.) If free access causes
enough libraries to cancel subscriptions, scientific journals like
JASA will fold or dramatically change their character.

        The ASA administration keeps close watch on ideas about
publishing.  We discuss them at every meeting. We try alternative
models. As you can imagine, one of the most plausible in an era of
free access is mandatory and high page charges. (They'd need to be
about triple.) But no one likes the concept of publication by the
rich. We continue to work on it. There will surely be some news on
this front after Chicago, June 2-8.


William Hartmann
President-elect, ASA