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last updated: 5/23/2012

Publisher Models

With the advent of the Internet, there are new publisher models now available to authors to work with for the dissemination of their research.


Traditional.  Included are the following types of presses:  university, commercial, societal/association, not-for-profit, and government.  Print and electronic publishing are options with many of these presses and there is usually a financial exchange between the press and the user for access to or purchase of the content.  College and university libraries budgets are used to supply users with scholarly/academic materials.  Increasingly, these presses are also making some materials available open access (free of charge to users).  These decisions often come at the discretion of individual authors who have paid for the option.  These payment options are primarily funded by funding agencies (governmental and for- and not-for profit) and/or the author’s college/university.


Library-based.  College and university libraries traditionally acquire published scholarship at the end of its publishing lifecycle.  In recent years, libraries have responded to researcher needs by addressing alternative publishing options that take advantage of digital technologies at scale and for low to no cost to the author.  Libraries are managing a variety of programs such as institutional repositories, open access journal publishing, digital collections and electronic archives.


Discipline.  Certainly manly of the types of presses addressed above engage in discipline-based publishing.  In this category, though, are included repository efforts specific to disciplines or sub-disciplines.  These repositories may be open access, like Open Folklore and ArXiv, or require membership, such as the SSRN and ICPSR.  These are managed by a variety of entities found in both the traditional and library-based categories.


Self.  Anyone with access to a web server and some simple programming skills can publish their works online in a manner they so choose.  They may also register their copyright themselves in the United States with the US Copyright Office and can select licenses for their works such as those supplied by the Creative Commons.


Making the choice
Generally, two factors drive decisions regarding press options:
1. The copyright policies of the press.  This covers the degree to which the press requires all or some of the author’s inherent rights.
2. How well the press serves the author.  This covers areas such as: the importance/prestige of the press in the discipline, the editorial board of the publication, and the publication’s peer review process.


Addressing Peer Review
No matter the press or the publication model (print, subscription, open access, etc.) peer review is included in the editorial activities by way of editorial and press decision.


last updated: 5/23/2012