The Cost of Knowledge: Academic Journal Pricing and Research Dissemination
49 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2024
Date Written: January 10, 2024
The research community is deeply concerned about the high prices of academic journals and restrictions on access to published research. To evaluate the effects of these barriers, we compile a comprehensive database of articles, journals, and publishers in three major academic fields (economics, physics and electronic engineering). To identify the effects of increasing prices and publishers’ market power, we exploit variations in publishers' product portfolios that do not directly affect an article's outcome. In addition, we inquire into university-publisher contracts and the timing of journals moving out of publisher paywalls to investigate the inner workings of these barriers. Elevated prices and substantial publisher power significantly diminish the volume of article citations and collaborative research. While these barriers operate somewhat differently across academic fields, the hindrance effects consistently prove more pronounced for lower-ranked institutions and developing countries.
Keywords: Academic Publishing; Knowledge Dissemination, Market Power
JEL Classification: L1, L13, L31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation