Editor’s Note: Joe Esposito’s provocative post last week on the competition between publishers raised a few eyebrows. To offer a more complete picture, I thought it was worth going back to several of Rick Anderson’s posts discussing the economics of journal publishing from the library’s point of view.
Prices, Models and Fairness: A (Partly) Imaginary Phone Conversation offers key insights into understanding Joe’s notion that journal publishing has become something of a zero sum game. There’s only so much money in the library budget, so no matter how much value you offer, you can’t draw blood from a stone.
Competition, Value and Sustainability — Why This Can’t Go On begins to explore the economic distortions of the journals market, and why the pricing structure is what it is. Rick raises some interesting questions about whether the Gold OA market will be subject to normal market pressures, unlike the subscription model, which, at least so far, remain unanswered.
Signal Distortion: Why the Scholarly Communication Economy Is So Weird expands on those themes and looks at the various distortions that have come into play in the market.