[Irtalk] Project MUSE - Academic Libraries and the Economics of Scholarly Publishing in the Twenty-First Century: Portfolio Theory, Product Differentiation, Economic Rent, Perfect Price Discrimination, and the Cost of Prestige

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 12:15:48 SAST 2016

In the last five decades, a great deal has been written about the ‘serials
crisis,’ library budget shortfalls, the growth of various commercial
scholarly publishers, the response from various academic library
associations to the serials crisis, and the emergence of open access
publications. Yet very little has been written about the economics of
scholarly publishing. In this article, the growth of universities and the
academic community’s never-ending need for prestigious scholarly
publications are explored, along with substantive economic theories used by
scholarly publishers, including portfolio theory, product differentiation,
economic rent, and perfect price discrimination. A series of
recommendations are made to ameliorate the ‘clash’ between academia and the
scholarly publishing community.

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