The Stratified Economics of Open Access
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Economics Analysis and Policy, Volume 39, Issue 1, p.53-70 (2009)
Those involved in scholarly publishing are coming to recognize how open access to this body of work can increase its value and reach. Yet no one economic model of open access prevails. Rather, open access is being achieved through a variety of forms that include author self-archiving, immediate (sponsored) open access, delayed open access, and article-processing-fee open access. These open access models are each the result of a stratified scholarly publishing market that can be roughly grouped among independent journals, scholarly society publishers, and commercial publishers. Each of these three market segments is experimenting with forms of open access that hold promise for sustaining, if not extending, the segment’s market position. This paper reviews the economics of these open access models, while drawing attention to the consequences of this market stratification for access to knowledge and the sustainability of scholarly publishing as a whole.
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