The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era

  title={The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era},
  author={Vincent Larivi{\`e}re and Stefanie Haustein and P. Mongeon},
  journal={PLoS ONE},
The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period… 

Figures from this paper

On the oligopoly of academic publishers.

The advent of the digital age has also seen the major publishers launching the sale of expensive packaged subscriptions to univer-sities and research institutions: in order to acquire the few journals that are really essential for their particular disciplines, these institutions are obliged to purchase a myriad of esoteric journals as well.

Big Publishers, Bigger Profits: How the Scholarly Community Lost the Control of its Journals

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

Research and Web 2.0

The scientific publishing industry has witnessed a plethora of innovations across the life cycle of writing, publishing and archiving of scientific journals. Open access is only the visible tip of an

The political economy of academic publishing: On the commodification of a public good

It is argued that OA publication costs are an important, but by far not the only way for academic publishers to gain access to public funding, and contributes to the debate whether and to what extent public subsidies are justified for economically successful companies.

Many well established publishers are struggling to come up with new , sustainable business models that work in the digital environment

Academic journals date back more than 350 years, and the dominant publishing model over much of this period has focused on subscription journals circulated among academics in print form with the

Untangling academic publishing: a history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research

Since the Second World War, academic publishing practices have had to cope with enormous changes in the scale of the research enterprise, in the culture and management of higher education, and in

The Impact of the German 'DEAL' on Competition in the Academic Publishing Market

The German DEAL agreements between German universities and research institutions on the one side and Springer Nature and Wiley on the other side facilitate easy open access publishing for researchers

Scholarly journal publishing in transition- from restricted to open access

  • B. Björk
  • Political Science
    Electron. Mark.
  • 2017
The question why Open Access to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn’t yet become the mainstream business model is asked and a lack of competitive pressure is demonstrated, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have not yet felt a strong need to change the way they operate.

Strategies to Increase the Number of Open Access Journals: The Cases of Elsevier and Springer Nature

  • S. Asai
  • Engineering
    Journal of Scholarly Publishing
  • 2022
Abstract:In recent years, major commercial publishers have strengthened their presence in both the subscription journal market and the open access journal market. Examining 447 journals from Elsevier

The Price of Journals in Geography

We assess the importance of publisher conduct and journal quality in determining the price and cost-effectiveness of journals in geography. Drawing on a database of 136 journals in which geographers



The place of serials in referencing practices: Comparing natural sciences and engineering with social sciences and humanities

The results show that journal literature is increasingly important in the natural and social sciences, but that its role in the humanities is stagnant and has even tended to diminish slightly in the 1990s.

Developments in digital journals

There appears to be no relationship between production costs and subscription prices of scholarly journals, and initiatives that aim to influence the structure of the market for scholarly journals with a view to driving prices down such as SPARC and HighWire Press are reviewed.

Journal Pricing and Mergers: A Portfolio Approach

Despite their influence on the careers of economists, the production and pricing of scholarly journals have received scant attention from the profession. By contrast, the issue of journal quality and

Trends in Scientific Scholarly Journal Publishing in the United States

Scientific scholarly publishing has experienced dramatic economic change over the past few decades. Unfortunately, there has been little documentation concerning details of such change, other than

Benchmarking scientific output in the social sciences and humanities: The limits of existing databases

There is a 20 to 25% overrepresentation of English-language journals in Thomson Scientific's databases compared to the list of journals presented in Ulrich, which means Thomson Scientific databases cannot be used in isolation to benchmark the output of countries in the SSH.

The eco-system of academic journals

Abstract The publishing of academic journals is in a state of flux. With the advent of new technologies, the serials pricing crisis, the Open Access movement and the ex-plosion of non-commercial

The STM report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing fourth edition

STM publishing takes place within the broader system of scholarly communication, which includes both formal and informal elements. Scholarly communication plays different roles at different stages of

The future of the academic journal

This book discusses the future of academic publishing and the political economy of education journals, as well as arguments for an open model of e-science.

The Business of Academic Publishing: A Strategic Analysis of the Academic Journal Publishing Industr

Academic libraries cannot pay the regularly escalating subscription prices for scholarly journals. These libraries face a crisis that has continued for many years revealing a commercial system that

Talking Past Each Other: Making Sense of the Debate over Electronic Publication

This paper discusses the implications electronic dissemination for the peer-reviewed serial publication system and its three core functions, the ranking of scholarship, facilitating interactive communication among scholars, and creating a comprehensive archive of scholarly and scientific knowledge.