Thomas Eger, Marc Scheufen: The Economics of Open Access

Author:Eric W. Steinhauer
Position:Prof. Dr. jur.; deputy director Universitätsbibliothek Hagen, FernUni in Hagen / Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin
Thomas Eger, Marc Scheufen: The Economics of Open Access
Thomas Eger, Marc Scheufen: The
Economics of Open Access
On the Future of Academic Publishing. – Cheltenham, UK;
Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2018. – X, 156 p.
by Eric W. Steinhauer, Prof. Dr. jur.; deputy director Universitätsbibliothek Hagen, FernUni in Hagen / Humboldt-
Universität zu Berlin.
© 2018 Eric W. Steinhauer
Everybody may disseminate this ar ticle by electronic m eans and make it available for downloa d under the terms and
conditions of the Digital P eer Publishing Licence (DPPL). A copy of the license text may be obtain ed at http://nbn-resolving.
Recommended citation: Eric W. Steinhauer, Book Rev iew: Thomas Eger, Marc Scheufen: The Economics of Open Acce ss – On
the Future of Academic Publishing, 9 (2018) JIPI TEC 345 para 1.
Open Access has been under discussion for over
20 years, when the Internet began its triumphal
march as a medium of communication in science
and humanities. Driven by the technical possibilities
of a very simple and fast dissemination of scientic
publications, consideration was given to replacing the
previous publishing practice, which was dominated
primarily by journals of a few major international
publishers. The considerations in favour of Open
Access were also fuelled by enormously increased
subscription prices for academic journals, which not
only place a heavy burden on libraries’ acquisition
budgets, but have also led to access problems to
scientic publications, particularly at smaller or
nancially weak institutions.
2 In view of these problems, the advantages of Open
Access are obvious. Nevertheless, it cannot be
said that free access to scientic publications has
established itself as the standard. It is not only
the publishers who are blocking a change in their
lucrative business model, there is also considerable
resistance to Open Access within the scientic
community itself.
3 This is where the study by Eger and Scheufen comes
in. In a comprehensive survey conducted between
2012 and 2015, both authors interviewed almost
10,500 scientists from 25 countries about their
practices and attitudes towards Open Access. The
results of the survey may indicate how the various
strategies and activities to promote and implement
Open Access can be successful. Eger and Scheufen
also consider respect for academic freedom as an
important condition for a successful Open Access
The study consists of ve parts. After a brief
introduction, the market for academic publications
and the Open Access movement in its history and
actors are presented in detail. This is followed by an
analysis of the survey results, which distinguishes
between the golden and the green paths according
to disciplines and countries. The following chapter
then draws conclusions for the further Open
Access strategy. The presentation concludes with a
summary and outlook. Several annexes also contain
statistical material and the study questionnaire.
Eger and Scheufen’s introduction to the academic
publishing market and the Open Access movement
is solid and informative. It can also be read
independently of the study as an introductory
overview of the topic. It should be emphasised that
Eger and Scheufen are not themselves actors in the
Open Access movement, in contrast to academic
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