A journal is a club: A new economic model for scholarly publishing

Potts, J, Hartley, J, Montgomery, L, Neylon, C and Rennie, E 2017, 'A journal is a club: A new economic model for scholarly publishing', Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 75-92.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A journal is a club: A new economic model for scholarly publishing
Author(s) Potts, J
Hartley, J
Montgomery, L
Neylon, C
Rennie, E
Year 2017
Journal name Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Start page 75
End page 92
Total pages 18
Publisher Routledge
Abstract A new economic model for the analysis of scholarly publishing - journal publishing in particular - is proposed that draws on club theory. The standard approach builds on market failure in the private production (by research scholars) of a public good (new scholarly knowledge). In this model, publishing is communication, as the dissemination of information. But a club model views publishing differently: namely as group formation, where members form groups in order to confer externalities on each other, subject to congestion. A journal is a selfconstituted group, endeavouring to create new knowledge. In this sense, a journal is a club. The knowledge club model of a journal seeks to balance the positive externalities of a shared resource (readers, citations, referees) against the negative externalities of crowding (decreased prospect of publishing in that journal). A new economic model of a journal as a knowledge club is elaborated. We suggest some consequences for the management of journals and financial models that might be developed to support them.
Subject Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Economic Theory not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) scholarly publishing
open access
club theory
blockchain
DOI - identifier 10.1080/08109028.2017.1386949
Copyright notice © 2017 Jason Potts, John Hartley, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon and Ellie Rennie
ISSN 1470-1030
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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