The cost profiles of alternative approaches to journal publishing

Roger Clarke*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    The digital era is having a substantial impact on journal publishing. In order to assist in analysing this impact, a model is developed of the costs incurred in operating a refereed journal. Published information and estimates are used to apply the model to a computation of the total costs and per-article costs of various forms of journal publishing. Particular attention is paid to the differences between print and electronic forms of journals, to the various forms of open access, and to the differences between not-for-profit and for-profit publishing undertakings. Insight is provided into why for-profit publishing is considerably more expensive than equivalent activities undertaken by unincorporated mutuais and not-for-profit associations. Conclusions are drawn concerning the current debates among conventional approaches and the various open alternatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFirst Monday
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2007


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