Sustaining Scholarly Publishing

New Economic Models for University Presses

A Report of the AAUP Task Force on Economic Models for Scholarly Publishing
March 2011

Within the scholarly communications ecosystem, scholarly publishers are a keystone species. University presses—as well as academic societies, research institutions, and other scholarly publishers—strive to fulfill our mission of “making public the fruits of scholarly research” as effectively as possible within that ecosystem. While that mission has remained constant, in recent years the landscape in which we carry out this mission has altered dramatically.

The expertise residing within university presses can help the scholarly enterprise prosper in both influence and impact as it moves ever more fully digital. However, the simple product-sales models of the twentieth century, devised when information was scarce and expensive, are clearly inappropriate for the twenty-first century scholarly ecosystem.

This report a) identifies elements of the current scholarly publishing systems that are worth protecting and retaining throughout this and future periods of transition; b) explores business models of existing projects which hold promise; c) outlines the characteristics of effective business models; d) addresses the challenges of the transitional period we are entering; and e) arrives at recommendations that might allow us to sustain high-quality scholarship at a time when the fundamental expectations of publishing are changing.

CommentPress Edition
The full text of the report was made open for review and comment through MediaCommons Press

Task Force on Economic Models
Lynne Withey, University of California Press, Chair
Steve Cohn, Duke University Press
Ellen Faran, MIT Press
Michael Jensen, National Academies Press
Garrett Kiely, University of Chicago Press
Will Underwood, Kent State University Press
Bruce Wilcox, University of Massachusetts Press
Richard Brown, Georgetown University Press, ex officio
Peter Givler, AAUP, ex officio
Alex Holzman, Temple University Press, ex officio
Kathleen Keane, Johns Hopkins University Press, ex officio

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