The Economics of Open-Access Journals
Mark J. McCabe
University of Michigan - School of Information; University of Goettingen - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice
Christopher M. Snyder
Dartmouth College - Department of Economics
July 9, 2010
A new business model for scholarly journals, open access, has gained wide attention recently. An open-access journal's articles are available over the Internet free of charge to all readers; revenue to cover publication costs comes from authors' fees. In this paper, we present a model of the journals market. Drawing upon the emerging literature on two-sided markets, we highlight the features distinguishing journals from examples economists have previously studied (telephony, credit cards, etc.). We analyze the efficiency of equilibrium author and reader fee schedules for various industry structures and for various assumptions about journals' objective functions. We ask whether open-access journals are viable in these various economic environments.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: open access, scholarly journal, two-sided market, competition
JEL Classification: L14, L82, D40, L31working papers series
Date posted: July 14, 2006 ; Last revised: January 27, 2011
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