Scholarly journal publishing in transition: from restricted to open access

by   Bo-Christer Björk, et al.

While the business models used in most segments of the media industry have been profoundly changed by the Internet surprisingly little has been changed in the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals. Electronic delivery has become the norm, but the same publishers as before are dominating the market, selling content to subscribers. This article asks the question why Open Access (OA) to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn't yet become the mainstream business model. OA implies a reversal of business logic from readers paying for content to authors paying fro dissemination via universa free access. The current situation is analyzed using Porter's five forces model. The analysis demonstrates a lack of competitive pressure in this industry, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have yet to feel a strong need to change the way they operate.



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