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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    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.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
    ALPSP members: log in to If you do not have a password contact
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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.

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