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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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Chapter 2: The academic publishing market

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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