Addressing the uncertain future of preserving the past : by Stijn Hoorens; Jeff Rothenberg; Constantijn van

By Stijn Hoorens; Jeff Rothenberg; Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau; Martin van der Mandele; Ruth Levitt; et al; All authors

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However, the importance of journals differs across disciplines. Journal articles are relatively more important in the sciences and social sciences; books and monographs are more important in the arts and humanities (European Commission 2007). In the humanities, 50 percent of the library budget is spent on periodicals, while in STM 70 percent is spent on periodicals. With the shift from print to electronic serials, journals have been able to continue dominating the market. Currently, 60 percent of journals worldwide are available electronically and this figure may be as high as 90 percent for English language journals (Electronic Publishing Services, 2006).

In a recent paper, Karen Hunter from Elsevier acknowledged that there are four issues that publishers face before they can move to electronic-only formats; among these issues is ‘bullet-proof digital archiving of electronic journals’ (Hunter 2007). Online abstract and indexing 20% Journals 35% Books 29% Newsletters/ looseleafs 8% Directories/ databases 7% Other 1% Figure 3. STM publishing market breakdown by delivery format, 2006 Source: Simba Information (2007) How many journals actually exist worldwide is debatable.

In addition, the costs incurred in scientific publishing in an online environment are mostly proportional to the number of articles published, not to the number of readers (interview with Matthew Cockerill 2007). The UK research councils and The Wellcome Trust, for example, have set open-access requirements for papers arising from research that they have funded (The Wellcome Trust 2006). Similar shifts are evident in Canada and France. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of research generates 60,000 articles a year and NIH are expected to shift to an open-access policy as well (interview with Robert Kiley 2007).

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