From Communications Technology to User Community: A New Economic Model of the Journal as a Club
Learned Publishing, October 2017
14 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 21, 2018
Much economic analysis of scholarly publishing has focused on journals as a communication technology. However, the Open Access (OA) movement did not originate from economic calculations, but from user communities. The twentieth-century closed publishing model made economic sense as outsourced specialisation. But technological change has upended that logic, while the economics of journal production have changed. We argue that problems with OA arise because the underlying economic model remains tied to technological affordances and challenges: economic analysis is still based on the communication technology model. Instead we explain how a club model of scholarly production provides a better analysis of the economics of scholarly knowledge creation and publishing.
Keywords: economics of publishing, open access, cultural science
JEL Classification: Z10, H4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation