Future Challenges and Opportunities in Academic Publishing

Kyle Siler

Abstract


Digitization and the rise of Open Access publishing is an important recent development in academic communication. The current publishing system exhibits challenges with cost, where many universities are forced to cancel journal subscriptions for economic reasons, as well as access, as scholars and the public alike often lack access to research published in paywalled subscription journals. Open Access publishing solves the access problem, but not necessarily cost problems. Universities and researchers are currently in a challenging, interstitial stage of scholarly publishing. Subscription journals still dominate scholarly communication, yet a growing imperative to fund and support Open Access alternatives also exists. Stakeholders, including faculty, university administrators, publishers, scientific funding institutions and librarians and governments alike currently strategize and fight for their professional and economic interests in the broader publishing system. Four main trends are suggested that will characterize the future of scholarly publishing: 1) antagonism with scholarly associations; 2) changes and innovations to peer review; 3) Scientific/Intellectual Movements around Open Access 4) publishing and new professional niches in the publishing landscape. This article suggests potential trajectories and outcomes for these various conflicts over the costs and benefits of academic publishing.

Keywords


publishing, sociology of science, economic sociology, libraries

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