bjoern.brembs.blog » Academic publishers and competition
" ... Given that the whole journal is essentially run by academics (with the exception of some menial tasks carried out by publisher employees or outsourced to companies in countries with cheap labor and lax labor laws), one would expect that if the scholarly community is not satisfied with the services of their publisher, they would simply go to some other publisher and ask them to service their journal instead. However, in many if not most cases, the owner of the journal is not the community of scholars, it is the publisher. This means, in such cases, the community has to abandon the journal and form a new one. Some of these journals have long traditions and have formed reputations over decades and sometimes centuries. Thus, conning the scientific community in either selling their ownership of these journals to corporate publishers or ceding this ownership at the point of journal inception was a clever anti-competitive strategy employed by publishers early on ... Another anti-competitive maneuver is to bind editors via non-competition clauses in their contracts. Some publishers pay some of their editors a modest honorarium, i.e., these editors are not employees of the publishers but receive some compensation for their otherwise volunteered efforts. I have recently received excerpts of such contracts ..."