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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

This chapter concludes that with digitization and the internet, open access to academic publishing could help to create a modern ‘Republic of Letters’, say a ‘Republic of Bits and Bytes’, supplying society with important scholarly information. This would require some collective action to ensure that high-quality scholarly information is generated based on the researcher’s curiosity and effectively disseminated to users at reasonable (search) cost. Any such system must take into account the specific interests and incentives of a range of different actors, including authors, academic libraries, learned societies, for-profit and not-for-profit publishers and individual readers of scholarly articles, but also governments, research sponsors and the tax-paying public.

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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

This chapter shows that a number of strategies are available to mitigate the social cost of a transition to OA academic publishing. At present, it seems advisable to proceed with both the green and the gold road to open access. An exclusive transition to gold OA might merely result in the big publishers exploiting the universities on publication fees rather than on subscription fees. The option of secondary publication via the green road leaves the decision to switch to gold OA with the publishers and exerts at the same time some pressure on their subscription fees or publication fees, respectively. Any successful policy towards the transition to OA has to make sure, that all and only those articles are published that meet some minimum quality requirement and that reliable quality signals facilitate potential readers to find the best papers for their purpose.

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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

This chapter provides a short introduction into the development of the academic publishing market and the serials crisis, the role of copyright protection in academic publishing, and the origins of open access in academic publishing.

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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

In this chapter, we have discussed the results of an international survey of scholarly authors’ perception of and attitude towards gold and green OA. Most importantly, the likelihood of publishing articles in OA journals (the gold road) or uploading papers to OA repositories (the green road) largely depends on the discipline the scholar is affiliated with. This substantial impact of the discipline on the scholars’ publishing behaviour is driven by the discipline-specific reward systems and the varying availability of high-quality OA journals and repositories in the individual disciplines. By contrast, the scholars’ country of residence generally makes little difference. Scholarly communication is typically an international affair, and the leading OA journals and repositories attract academic authors from across the world.

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Empirical Legal Research in Action

Reflections on Methods and their Applications

Edited by Willem H. van Boom, Pieter Desmet and Peter Mascini

Empirical legal research is a growing field of academic expertise, yet lawyers are not always familiar with the possibilities and limitations of the available methods. Empirical Legal Research in Action presents readers with first-hand experiences of empirical research on law and legal issues.
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The Economics of Open Access

On the Future of Academic Publishing

Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

Addressing the recent debate on how the future of academic publishing might look in a purely digital environment, this book analyzes the experiences of researchers with, as well as attitudes towards, ‘Open Access’ (OA) publishing. Drawing on a unique, in-depth survey with more than 10,000 respondents from 25 countries, Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen discuss their findings in the light of recent policy attempts which have been trying to foster OA, revealing considerable shortcomings and lack of knowledge on fundamental features of the academic publishing market.
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Thomas Eger and Marc Scheufen

This chapter investigates the details and specialties of the academic publishing market and their relevance for OA publishing in academia. When publishing articles in academic journals, scholars are typically motivated by curiosity and expected reputation, and to a smaller extent by monetary rewards for the single publications. Whereas academic journals had been published for several hundred years by non-for-profit publishers, since the 1950s commercial publishers gained in importance. The strong bargaining power of the big five commercial publishers led to strongly increasing journal prices, which motivated the proponents of OA to vote for a new business model which provides all readers with a computer connected to the internet open access to academic articles, whereby the publication costs are covered by author fees and other revenues, instead of subscription fees.

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Brian H. Bix