The physics roundtable was moderated by John Kromer and it featured 5-min lightning talks at the beginning to kick off small group discussions. I volunteered to give a quick overview of SCOAP3 but who knew the trouble I would stir up??
I got all my information straight from the SCOAP3 website so there was a lot of outdated and inaccurate information. The last updates were made January 28, 2013 and since I’m not an insider, I didn’t have any new numbers to present (I really should’ve prefaced my overview with a disclaimer). Publishers were up in arms disputing the “facts” and we had quite a lively discussion after the talks portion.
Hearing the publisher side of the story was quite refreshing. Neither the librarians nor the publishers knew what was really going on. And there needed to be a lot of clarification on what SCOAP3 actually covered. The “tendering process” was hard on publishers who did want certain journals to be part of it but did not meet the set requirements. Publishers had to manually compare lists for each institution to determine price reductions, but apparently some institutions are literally only saving pennies because some titles only occupy a small percentage of the overall package.
Even after the roundtable was over, people wanted to keep talking about SCOAP3. It’s certainly an interesting new model, but most of us agree that it’s just not scalable.