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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 5: Summary and outlook

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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