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The Changing Nature of Scale in STM and Scholarly Publishing

Image by Clarke & Company, all rights reserved.

Image by Clarke & Company, all rights reserved.

The American College of Chest Physicians recently announced it would be ending decades of self-publishing: its well-known journal CHEST will soon be published by Elsevier. A society with a single journal deciding to throw in its lot with a large commercial publisher is not atypical, and for many such societies this is a sound decision. A small society publishing program cannot muster the economies of scale around production, technology, and (most important) institutional sales that can be brought to bear by a large publisher.

That larger publishers are able to develop greater economies of scale is, of course, no surprise. What’s surprising is not how many society-owned journals are published by commercial publishers (I include Oxford and Cambridge university presses in this camp in terms of size), but rather how many remain independent. Why is this the case?

Click here to read more from this June 25, 2015 article in the Scholarly Kitchen by Michale Clarke.

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