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• CommentRowNumber1.
• CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
• CommentTimeJun 12th 2012
• (edited Jun 12th 2012)

Continuing what I said on Mike Taylor’s blog, I’ve found that reference to what a ’big publisher’ spent on digitising their entire catalogue, and yes! it was Elsevier.

In this article of the Notices of the AMS there is a reproduction of a letter from Robert Ross of Elsevier (itself originally printed in the European Mathematical Society Newsletter). He states:

“Elsevier has invested US$160 million in digitizing and maintaining the digital archive of our entire journal program. This investment facilitates and assures electronic access and distribution of the research record, allowing instant access throughout the world or wherever and whenever the Internet is available.” A measly$160 million! Less than 3 months worth of last year’s profit. Never again listen to Elsevier (or indeed any other of the big four publishers) when they say they need to recoup the costs of scanning old articles.

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
• CommentTimeJun 13th 2012
• (edited Jun 13th 2012)

Henry Cohn made a very pertinent point at Mike’s blog, namely that it is a tad unreasonable to compare profits from all of Elsevier with the cost of scanning old journal articles. So I did a quick estimation, and it looks as if the cost of scanning at least the mathematics journals should be covered by now. See here for the details. (Comments may be awaiting moderation)