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There is increasing pressure from academia to make the results of publicly funded research freely available to all. Preprint archives have grown up in some disciplines, and institutional archives are now being developed. While openly accessible preprints seem to have damaged publishers less than was originally feared, the final published versions of articles – when combined with sophisticated retrieval software – may turn out to be a different matter. Publishers have already done much to make their content more accessible through bundling, consortia licensing, access for less-developed countries, more liberal customer and author agreements, and collective licensing. Some are experimenting with open access journals, although this may not work in all disciplines. It seems clear, however, that there are elements of value in journals themselves, and in the functions performed by journal publishers, which should survive.
Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.
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