How Open Access Affects Competition in Scholarly Publishing Markets: A Tale of Good Intentions, Big Deals and Uncertain Outcomes


  • Mark J. McCabe Boston University’s Questrom School of Management, SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France



Watch the VIDEO of the presentation.

Since the 1990s a wave of innovation has transformed media markets, including those involving scientific communication.  Expectations that the internet might improve access to the scientific literature while lowering costs to users have only been partially fulfilled.  Using a modern economic framework I identify the historical, structural sources of market power in publishing markets and discuss the role that OA can play on a stage populated by publishers, authors, readers, and institutional actors of various types.  For example, efforts to “flip” journals from a reader to author pay basis can follow a number of paths.  At least one of these paths is efficient, lower cost, and plausible.

Author Biography

Mark J. McCabe, Boston University’s Questrom School of Management, SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France

Dr. McCabe received his PhD in Applied Economics from MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1991. He subsequently held positions as an economist at the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, and professor at Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan.  He currently has appointments as a Lecturer at Boston University’s Questrom School of Management and Professor and Director of the Digital Business Program at SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France.  His research interests include industrial organization, competition policy and regulation, and information economics.  Dr. McCabe is an expert on the economics of journal publishing. His work has been published in various scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Rand Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and Nature and has been supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NET Institute, the Open Society Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.