[IRTalk] Big Publishers, Bigger Profits: How the Scholarly Community Lost the Control of its Journals | Larivière | MediaTropes

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 15:23:44 SAST 2016

Despite holding the potential to liberate scholarly information, the
digital era has, to the contrary, increased the control of a few for-profit
publishers. While most journals in the print era were owned by academic
institutions and scientific societies, the majority of scientific papers
are currently published by five for-profit publishers, which often exhibit
profit margins between 30%-40%. This paper documents the evolution of this
consolidation over the last 40 years, discusses the peculiar economics of
scholarly publishing, and reflects upon the role of publishers in today’s

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