Edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernández
Chapter 51: Publishing
Adoption of new technologies can disrupt market structures, leading to the demise of processes rendered obsolete (such as scribal labour) or eventually creating a new practice (such as the free publication of a crowdsourced encyclopaedia). In the case of the publishing industry, the current changes observed owing to the prevalent use of information and communication technologies and the Internet are reminiscent of the changes observed throughout the fifteenth through to the eighteenth centuries, when technological changes led to new market players, new products and services, and new consumption habits. Publishers have benefited from economies of scale and a significant reduction of costs, but not without a transformation in the sector. Further, while writers and readers appear to welcome digital libraries and printing on demand, believing it represents a liberation of tyrannical intermediaries, we argue that, as in the past, new intermediaries are emerging with adapted gatekeeper roles.
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