A Model of Academic Journal Quality with Applications to Open-Access Journals

NET Institute Working Paper No. 04-18

25 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2004

See all articles by Mark J. McCabe

Mark J. McCabe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; SKEMA Business School, Université Côte d’Azur (GREDEG), Sophia Antipolis, France

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

Previous research modeled academic journals as platforms connecting authors with readers in a two-sided market. This research used the same basic framework also used to study telephony, credit cards, video game consoles, etc. In this paper, we focus on a key difference between the market for academic journals and these other markets: journals vary in terms of quality, where a journal's quality determined by the quality of the papers it publishes. We provide a simple model of journal quality. As an illustration of the value of the model, we use it to address issues that have arisen in the recent debate concerning whether, in the Internet age, journals should become open access (freely available to readers, financed by author rather than subscriber fees). Among other issues, we examine (a) whether open-access journals would tend to publish more articles than traditional journals, moving further down the quality spectrum in order to boost revenue; (b) whether journal quality affects the profitability of adopting open access; and (c) whether submission fees or acceptance fees are better instruments to extract surplus from authors.

Keywords: Open access, academic journal, two-sided market, quality

Suggested Citation

McCabe, Mark J. and Snyder, Christopher M., A Model of Academic Journal Quality with Applications to Open-Access Journals (November 2004). NET Institute Working Paper No. 04-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=619264 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.619264

Mark J. McCabe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

SKEMA Business School, Université Côte d’Azur (GREDEG), Sophia Antipolis, France ( email )

60 rue Dostoïevski
SKEMA Business School, Economics Department
Sophia Antipolis, 06902
France

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

Christopher M. Snyder (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/

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