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Thursday, June 03, 2004
 
Economics of Open

Stephen in his comment below pointed me to the enthusiastic article from Wired "Open Source Everywhere" among the gush and enthusiasm I'm finding some gems. Did you know that an OS software guy called Bruce Perens has persuaded mainstream publisher Prentice Hall to publish a series under an Open Publication License. Apparently the economics works for the publisher according to Prentice Hall's "editor in chief" Mark Taub :
"We believe that this makes good business sense. We believe that making free electronic copies of the books available will allow people to literally test-drive the book. If they determine that this book is likely to meet their needs, we believe a good number of these people are going to opt to go and buy the printed book, because it's a whole lot easier to consume a book on paper than it is electronically."
I don't think this model could work in Biblical Studies, but Edward Zalta, a philosopher from the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Sanford has been running the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for some years now. It uses a different model. The encyclopeadia has been funded for its set up costs. When I met him at a humanities computing conference in 2000 I was most envious of his US$200,000 grant for software! The authors are rewarded with academic credit.

This seems to me a model that might be more workable in Theology, and with the climate that the Prentice Hall series and other initiatives creates...

Why are AKMA and Trevor finding it difficult to get authors for their Quadriga Publications?


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