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Academic Publishing and Open Access

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  • Müller-Langer, Frank
  • Scheufen, Marc

Abstract

With the spread of the internet and new opportunities for publishing academic works digitally at virtually no costs, the traditional copyright model has recently been put under critical review which is for at least two reasons: First and foremost, a vast increase in subscription prices for academic journals has forced (university) libraries to significantly cut their journal portfolios. Second, copyright seems negligible in academia as researchers are motivated by reputation gains and CV effects rather than direct financial returns from publishing their works. As a consequence, the promotion of Open Access (OA) to scientific research is claimed as the perceived future of academic publishing in the information age. This paper critically reviews the OA debate by discussing theoretical and empirical arguments on the role of copyright in publishing scientific outcomes. A brief historical perspective introduces to the changed environmental conditions for scholarly publishing, pointing to a new trade-off in the digital age. By framing the debate in a broader literature stream and related issues, we provide with caveat for further research and a glimpse of possible future scenarios. It is shown that copyright may be both a blessing and a curse in establishing an effective framework for scientific progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc, 2012. "Academic Publishing and Open Access," MPRA Paper 61807, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:61807
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick & Mueller-Langer, Frank, 2014. "Open access to data: An ideal professed but not practised," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1633.
    2. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2017. "Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries?," Discussion Papers in Economics 31973, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2020. "Does online access promote research in developing countries? Empirical evidence from article-level data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(2).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Copyright; Open Access; Academic Publishing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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