It will be called the Electronic Society for Social Scientists, and St Andrews University economist, Manfredi La Manna, thinks it could be manna to social scientists - and their librarians - the world over.

He's spent four of his six months' sabbatical granted by St Andrews University developing the ELSSS, which aims to publish a dozen high quality electronic journals to supplant existing, over-priced commercial printed publications.

According to La Manna, ELSSS journals will be under half the price of comparable commercially-produced journals, pay "substantial" fees to authors, referees and editors, will be available to all researchers, faculty, and students in the subscribing libraries, will be distributed free to all developing and ex-Eastern-block countries, and will be run on a non-profit-making basis for the benefit of the academic community.

Why pay referees? "Refereeing a paper is very time-intensive - you have to spend between two and four days to review...

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