There is an interesting conversation going on over at the AAA blog- The future of AAA publishing: Opening a conversation. I would like to comment on one of the statements-
“Publishing academic journals (even digital-only ones liberated from the cost of printing and moving paper) entails significant expense, including administration, copy-editing, type-setting, web development, hosting and archiving. Revenues to support this must come from somewhere.”
I bolded the type-setting because I find this the most ridiculous point put out by publishers to justify costs. Type-setting was a job of great importance 400 years ago when someone needed to create fonts and load letters into printing presses. Even a few decades ago the job was of importance, minus the need to physically set the letters into a printing press, but now it is not needed. Computers and free fonts has obliterated the need for someone to do type-setting. Most publishers do not even have a single employee who does typesetting yet they claim it costs money.
Give me a break! Until someone shows me the actual break down of costs AND that it is needed AND there is no cheaper alternative I will continue to be very skeptical that any one should pay for journals. Especially when we have so many open access choices, that are not author pays either.