Business Models in (Digital) Academic Publishing

A special issue of Publications (ISSN 2304-6775).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018) | Viewed by 14617

Special Issue Editors

Ms. Karen I. MacDonald
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Kent State University
Interests: scholarly communication; business information literacy; information needs of entrepreneurs; marketing library services
Kent State University
Interests: digital libraries; digital curation; digital preservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the number of universities, libraries, and students continue to increase, growth in scholarly publishing is likely to continue. However, digital technology in academic publishing has rendered old business models obsolete. Demand for traditional printed books is influenced by electronic books, print-on-demand services, book rental options and sales of individual book chapters. An increased demand for instant access to scholarly journals, with their double-digit annual price increases, is putting even greater pressure on library budgets and the purchase of scholarly works. Clearly, traditional business models for academic publishing are no longer sustainable. Innovative business models are needed to capture value from new digital publishing technologies.  Open access, print on demand, hybrid publishing, agile publishing, digital archives and open data curation are examples of new digital publishing models—but none of these can address all aspects of this dynamic industry.

Scholars generally agree that value proposition, value creation and value capture are essential components of a business model. Value proposition refers to the value the organization delivers to its clients. Value creation is the process of developing new business opportunities, products and services. Value capture mechanisms address financial benefits or profitability.

This Special Issue invites authors to submit articles that examine new or alternative forms of digital academic publishing—with an emphasis on describing the business model that will make this new form sustainable. Topics may include, but are not be limited to, one or several of the listed keywords below.

Ms. Karen I. MacDonald
Ms. Virginia Dressler
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Publications is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Academic digital publishing
  • Digital publishing strategies—open access, print on demand, hybrid publishing, agile publishing
  • Business model framework
  • Value proposition
  • Library and university press collaborations
  • New or alternative forms of academic publication

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 226 KiB  
Developing a Business Plan for a Library Publishing Program
Publications 2018, 6(4), 42; - 23 Oct 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 12796
Over the last twenty years, library publishing has emerged in higher education as a new class of publisher. Conceived as a response to commercial publishing practices that have strained library budgets and prevented scholars from openly licensing and sharing their works, library publishing [...] Read more.
Over the last twenty years, library publishing has emerged in higher education as a new class of publisher. Conceived as a response to commercial publishing practices that have strained library budgets and prevented scholars from openly licensing and sharing their works, library publishing is both a local service program and a broader movement to disrupt the current scholarly publishing arena. It is growing both in numbers of publishers and numbers of works produced. The commercial publishing framework which determines the viability of monetizing a product is not necessarily applicable for library publishers who exist as a common good to address the needs of their academic communities. Like any business venture, however, library publishers must develop a clear service model and business plan in order to create shared expectations for funding streams, quality markers, as well as technical and staff capacity. As the field is maturing from experimental projects to full programs, library publishers are formalizing their offerings and limitations. The anatomy of a library publishing business plan is presented and includes the principles of the program, scope of services, and staffing requirements. Other aspects include production policies, financial structures, and measures of success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business Models in (Digital) Academic Publishing)
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