Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-11-16
While developed world universities and libraries weigh the pros and cons of Open Access plus subscription models, developing countries embrace Open Access mega journal-style repositories with open post-publication peer review procedures in partnership with established publishing platforms.
As the international Open Access community mulls the possibility of turning data sets into revenue streams by dint of the latter’s ability to be analyzed, circulated and packaged in abstract form, scholars hailing from the American academia grapple with the economics of scientific journal publishing by seeking to explore how the supply and demand can be re-equilibrated in this industry. Currently, the demand for the scientific journal subscriptions appears to continue to outstrip they supply, which ensures the high subscription fees, such as those of Springer, for journal bundles that their publishers vend, given their effective oligopoly hold on this market and the exclusive access to highly-reputed journals they provide.
However, this situation resists a facile conclusion that Open Access journals can significantly change the equilibrium prices in this market, as quality journals incur significant publication costs and do not differ significantly in their reviewing, editing and submission practices from subscription-based journals, as far as unpaid labor input is concerned. In other words, Open Access journals will have to have article processing charges (APCs) compensate for the lost revenue streams that toll-based journals derive from subscription fees. In turn, this leads to a relatively minor impact that the advent of Open Access has had on the market-wide equilibrium prices that end up being charged for article publication and access either directly or indirectly.
By Pablo Markin
Tags: AAS, AAS Open Research, African Academy of Sciences, AOSIS, APCs, article processing charges, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, equilibrium, Funding, hybrid, journal, Kenya, market, mega-journal, OA, Open Access, Open Data, Open Peer Review, post-publication, publishing, repositories, South Africa, Springer, Subscription-Based, UK, US, Wellcome Trust.