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Who Will Shape the Future of Scholarly Publishing?

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

The rising costs of academic publishing have been a destabilizing factor in the industry for a long time, with some subscriptions to journals and their aggregating services becoming so pricey that universities must pick and choose which portions of an academic field to subscribe to. The result could mean universities with a deeper endowment pool gain an unprecedented advantage when it comes to the topics that can be researched through their programs. Open access publishing provides a promising alternative, but it will require universities, publishers, and distribution channels to change if it is going to become the future of scholarly publishing.

Recommendations for Open Access

One of the biggest concerns about open access is the economic reality. Academic publishing costs money, and even when reducing the costs by presenting papers only online and not in print, there are still issues of administrative staffing and online operating expenses. MIT is currently a great example of a university showing leadership in this regard because of the results of the school’s ad hoc task force on open access. They recently released draft recommendations for public comment that include the following:

  • Pathways for opening access to MIT authors’ publications, including monographs
  • Analyses of delivery methods for cost and accessibility
  • Explanations of the guiding principles behind open access

The Reason Universities Should Lead the Movement

When the conversation around open access started, there was a strong push to hold academic publishers accountable for the rising costs, but the fact is, universities are both the producers of scholarly journals and their primary audience. If costs are spiraling and universities want to maintain the accessibility of their work, they must lead the charge in shaping a new economy for scholarship.

If open access is going to work as a model, information needs to be presented in ways the public can reach without costs that detract from funding the actual work the findings discuss. That means finding service providers that can reduce the cost of publishing without cutting corners. To learn more about publishing services that can help with this, contact Amnet today for demonstrations and information.


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