Tackling the journal crisis; when authors pay with money instead of copyrights
CPB: Elektronische publicatie Publishers: Caught in the web?
The journal crisis is a logical result of the current set-up of the market. Publishers who obtain copyrights on high-quality papers (their most important input) are able to charge monopoly prices, since papers are not interchangeable like jars of peanut butter. Recent changes in ICT enable a reform of this market setup. If the government wants to fundamentally tackle the journal crisis it could target policy at the limitation of access: publishers' copyrights on scientific papers. When copyrights are made ineffective by placing them in the hands of an independent institute, and authors pay publishers with money instead of copyrights, a competitive system of scientific publishing and free access to scientific papers can result.