University of Vienna, Faculty of Mathematics
Game theorists are familiar with the ‚end round effect‘. When the end of an interaction looms close, the temptation to exploit the partner, who can no longer retaliate, becomes very strong. A similar thing occurs here: the usual forms of publishing are becoming obsolete in the internet age, traditional role models (Elsevier was Galilei’s publisher) can no longer work, and this is common knowledge. Here lies the cause for occasionally scandalous, seemingly almost extortionist forms of behavior. They would irritate me even more, if I were not persuaded that they can subsist for at most a few more years. However, I was persuaded of this already a decade ago. Old structures are tenacious. It is astonishing how differently the various scientific disciplines react. It could be that the first release will be obtained by mathematicians. But the tail cannot wag with the dog! The Austrian Science Fund has to attend to all disciplines, and I do not see many alternatives to the current compromise of the open access policy. We will have to get attuned, for the present, to ‘author pays’-models and ‘submission fees’, even if some among the older generation (to which I belong) feel it as an imposition, and almost as a social regress.