Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Economic Research on Scholarly Publishing: Review and Analysis

Dr. Lewis Liu.

This paper reviews the research on scholarly publishing in the past in terms of contents and research methodologies. It discusses the debates among scholars over why scholarly materials particularly scholarly journal prices have been escalating year after year while the costs of producing the electronic materials have been decreasing, (as some economists argued that the marginal cost of producing some electronic publications is almost zero). This paper closely looks at this issue and provides some answers to this puzzle including discussions on price discrimination and issues related to journal bundling.

A case study is conducted to examine this issue at the micro-level and detailed comparisons and cost-benefit analyses are provided. This study is discussed in the macro-context.

This paper further addresses issues of how the changes from paper to digital affect the production, dissemination, and use of scholarly materials.

Finally the paper points out the future research directions in terms of research methodology and economic measurement. The issues of asymmetry of information between publishers and academic libraries and the consequences of such an information gap are also discussed.


Dr. Lewis Liu  (United States)
Associate Professor
City University of New York at Baruch College

Lewis Liu holds a Ph.D., MBA, M.Ed. and MLS.
He is associate professor, published and edited 5 books and numerous journal articles on Internet and libraries; economics of libraries and information; and business information.
He is the guest editor of Library Trends: Economics of libraries, the editor of a book: The role and impact of the internet on libraries and the editor of global Internet resources for business series by Orxy Press and Greenwood Press.

  • scholarly publishing
  • economics of information
  • economics of scholarly journals

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)