Moore ND "Online Music Model could work for Journals" British Medical Journal 330(7504):1391 (11 June)2005

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 21 17:01:48 EDT 2006

E-mail: nicholas.moore at

>From : British Medical Journal - FULL TEXT BELOW

BMJ  2005;330(7504):1391 (11 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7504.1391

TITLE : Online Music Model could work for Journals

AUTHER: Nicholas D. Moore

SOURCE: British Medical Journal 330(7504):1391 (11 June)2005

Online music model could work for journals

The main issue I see about professional journals is their greed.1 I once
wanted to download an article from one of the major US journals because I
was too lazy to walk down a flight of stairs to go to the department
library, and the paper seemed interesting in a train of thought I didn't
want to interrupt. The charge asked was $40 (£22; 33). Considering the cost
of a yearly subscription and the number of research papers per year, the
cost per printed research paper was about $0.40 (online cost without paper,
ink, or postage could be much lower).

I did not pay the $40: I walked down to the library, and photocopied the
article, which cost me less than a dollar, at no profit to the journal. I
could also have asked a colleague with a subscription to download it for me
and email it.

Had the online paper been for instance at $0.99 (as the songs on iTunes or
other similar services) I would have paid that amount without any qualms
and without noticing it, probably spending overall much more on the journal
at the end of the year than the $40.

By charging too much per paper, the major journals are shooting themselves
in the foot. It would be interesting to see whether a business model
charging a small sum ($0.99 or 0.99 or £0.69) would lead to increased
downloads of papers. And for that sum, most people would not try to find an
illegal copy.

Free is better of course, but not always realistic. Exorbitant is bad. It
works for music, why shouldn't it work for science? The models are out

Nicholas D Moore, professor of clinical pharmacology

Université Victor Segalen, 33076 Bordeaux, France nicholas.moore at pharmaco.u-

Competing interests: NDM does not feel the need to subscribe to journals
for just a few papers per year and doesn't want to pay 100 times the actual
cost of the papers online. Application of this model could benefit
consumers, including himself.

Lenzer J. Medical societies react against public access to findings. BMJ
2005;330: 1104-d. (14 May.)[Free Full Text]

Related Article

Medical societies react against public access to findings
Jeanne Lenzer
BMJ 2005 330: 1104. [Extract] [Full Text]

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