[INDOLOGY] question about a soliciation from publisher MDPI

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at gmail.com
Wed Mar 27 19:03:46 EDT 2019

Dear Dan
I hope I am not seen as a shill for publishers, but I would like to point
out that what you say is not quite right. How are contributions to be
found? How is their continued presence to be assured? How are materials to
be distributed? There are many more questions like this that your brief
explanation omits, but that are vital. All of us have experienced multiple
times a 404 message when following a link to an article or contribution of
interest. If we want our publications to last, this is not a viable model.
This statement is not a positive assertion of what is in fact the optimal
model, but it does point out a weakness in your questioning. I think that
there are some viable options out there, but it's not nearly as simple as
you suggest.

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 7:11 PM Dan Lusthaus via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> While on that subject, our entire profession is fiscally backward. It is
> not just in regard to publications. Would a carpenter or plumber pay you to
> come to your house to build or fix something? But we pay hefty fees to go
> to conferences to present our research. Soon we will all be paying to
> publish our work through “reputable” media.
> As for publishers, profit is necessary to stay in business, so as
> hardcopies become increasingly vestigial, and free online material
> increasingly available, who is the profit going to come from? And the
> “free” part of online access is soon to disappear as well. The profit, of
> course, goes to the publishers. Royalties are a tiny percentage of what the
> book makes. The cost of producing a volume, which, once typeset (and some
> of us end up doing camera-ready) is just the cost of paper, ink, and
> delivery. E-versions, which don’t even cost that — just server space — are
> now the same price as hardcopy. At the recent AAS (Association of Asian
> Studies) the decrease in the number of publishers displaying wares, and the
> smaller booths rented by them, and the fewer actual items on display by
> many, was clearly noticeable.
> Shifting costs to our institutions, which are already experiencing
> financial stresses which they pretend to solve by eliminating departments
> of Sanskrit, Religious Studies, etc., is not a healthy solution.
> The model is changing, and we are mostly complacent so far.
> Dan
> On Mar 27, 2019, at 12:11 PM, Camillo Formigatti via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> It’s really interesting that in this discussion none of us has actually
> pointed out that not only scientific publishers shouldn’t ask authors to
> pay a fee for publication, they should actually *pay us* for the work
> we’ve done. If scientific publishers ask scholars to pay a fee for
> publication it means that their business model is wrong in the best-case
> scenario or they’re criminals, plain and simple. Maybe the reason for all
> this is that scientific publishers shouldn’t be run as businesses? I’m just
> throwing this idea into the arena, since it seems that the business-like
> model is now all-pervading in every single aspect of human life, even where
> it shouldn’t.
> ------------------------------
> Dr Camillo A. Formigatti
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J. Silk
Leiden University
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
2311 BZ Leiden
The Netherlands

copies of my publications may be found at
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