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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 4: Policy implications and the way forward

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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