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

See all articles by John Hartley

John Hartley

Curtin University

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Lucy Montgomery

Curtin University

Ellie Rennie

RMIT University

Cameron Neylon

Curtin University

Date Written: September 21, 2018

Abstract

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

Hartley, John and Potts, Jason and Montgomery, Lucy and Rennie, Ellie and Neylon, Cameron, From Communications Technology to User Community: A New Economic Model of the Journal as a Club (September 21, 2018). Learned Publishing, October 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3253424

John Hartley

Curtin University ( email )

Kent Street
Bentley
Perth, WA WA 6102
Australia

Jason Potts (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

Lucy Montgomery

Curtin University ( email )

Kent Street
Bentley
Perth, WA WA 6102
Australia

Ellie Rennie

RMIT University ( email )

School of Health and Biomedical Sciences
Melbourne
Australia

Cameron Neylon

Curtin University ( email )

Kent Street
Bentley
Perth, WA WA 6102
Australia

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