Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Redefining Scholarly Publishing as a Service Industry

Paul Peters has published the article "Redefining Scholarly Publishing as a Service Industry" in The Journal of Electronic Publishing. Peters is the Head of Business Development for the Hindawi Publishing Corporation.

The article's abstract:
The landscape of the scholarly publishing market has been largely defined by subscription-based publishing models that have existed since the earliest days of scholarly journal publishing. If there is a widespread shift from these subscription-based models to an open-access model based on publication charges, the fundamental nature of the scholarly publishing industry will transform from that of a content-providing industry to a service-providing industry. The benefits that this transformation will bring to the research community are in many ways as important as the benefits that an open access model will have in terms of increasing online access to scholarly literature.
The article's conclusion:
Apart from the substantial benefits that an open access model will have on improving access to scholarly literature, a shift towards business models based on publication charges can provide vastly increased value to the scholarly community. This is not to say that the shift to an “author pays” model will be easy, since this transition is likely to cause a fair bit of turmoil in the short run. Fields in which authors do not have research budgets that can support publication charges will have a difficult time converting to an “author pays” model until sufficient funding sources can be redirected to support these charges. Both commercial and not-for-profit publishers that have become dependent on large per-article revenues will face serious challenges if the quality of their service does not justify these revenues. Nevertheless, in the long run, a shift towards a system based on publication charges will enable greater competition between publishers, more innovative services, and greater overall value for researchers. Publishers who can provide the greatest value to the research community will see their journals flourish without the need for costly sales teams, and those who cannot will soon find that they have become obsolete in the context of a service-oriented publishing system.
Click here for the full article.

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