How not to monetize a scholarly publication

Dear Big Academic Publisher:

It will no doubt not surprise you to discover, upon reflection, that computing-science researchers tend to have internet access.  From that premise, it is a simple calculation to deduce that they will use this internet access to download articles, such as those recently accepted to the conference for which you are publishing the proceedings.  Having downloaded those articles in convenient PDF form — and having done so, if from your website, for a fee — they will themselves bear the costs (if any) of printing those articles, should they choose to do so.

Therefore, I regret that I must decline to pay you three thousand fucking dollars to have the figures in my article appear in colour in the print edition of your proceedings.

Yours in exasperation,


5 Responses to “How not to monetize a scholarly publication”

  1. 1 perlhaqr
    March 28, 2011 at 19:45

    What? You could buy a color laser printer yourself for that amount of money, and actually have a capital good to show for it afterwards.

  2. 2 perlhaqr
    March 28, 2011 at 19:47

    Ok, not the best color laser printer Amazon has (which is a truly astonishing $14,500, and I wish its owners lots of joy with it) but still a quite professional copy center grade laser printer.

  3. March 28, 2011 at 20:19

    They wanted YOU to pay to have THEM publish in THEIR publication??
    What’s wrong with this picture…….

  4. March 28, 2011 at 20:27

    To be fair, it costs more to print a colour page — from a high-zoot printer that’ll be faithful to the original colours, on high-clay-content glossy paper — than it does a black-and-white page. And given the whole internet thing I mentioned to begin with, printing dead-tree journals has got to be a low-margin business, and they need to recoup their costs wherever they (think they) can. And, I dunno, maybe some people with discretionary-spending budgets that they need to use up (lest they be reduced next year) will actually pay that kind of money.

    I won’t.

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