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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Free Labor for Costly Journals

  • Author(s): Bergstrom, Ted
  • et al.

Commercial publishers charge libraries about 6 times as much per page and 16 times as much per citation as nonprofit journals. The paper presents evidence that successful for profit journals are priced at several times average cost. They are able to earn "monopoly profits" despite free entry into the industry because journal reputation is the result of a kind of coordination game. The paper advocates withholding free referee services from overpriced journals.

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