Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Transformation of the academic publishing market"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors

  • Diego Ponte, Trento University, Italy
  • Bozena Mierzejewska, Fordham University, USA
  • Stefan Klein, University of Muenster, Germany


While the publishing market is in the midst of a dramatic transformation (from newspapers to book publishers), the segment of academic publishing (the incumbents) on the surface appears to be still relatively stable.

Yet we have witnessed a plethora of innovations across the life cycle of publishing and archiving. SSRN, Google scholar, ResearchGate,, Mendeley, Open Access journals are only the visible tip of the iceberg of new players and indeed new services and modes of publishing. These few examples convey the impression that disruptive innovations are under way and many of the established themes of digital transformation - business model and service innovation, disintermediation, cybermediation, ProSuming, new pricing models -  become discernible in distinct ways in this industry.

The change and disruption have become visible across numerous dimensions:

1) the search of scientific knowledge has become more interactive and web based. Search of knowledge is nowadays based on topics, names of authors, visibility while in the past was based on journals;

2) the publication process is not anymore under the control by scientific publishers. The shift to the web disrupted many of the physical barriers intrinsic of a paper based market;

3) the publication infrastructure has become less monolithic and more fragmented with many services provided under a multitude of business models (among others, there is a number of free (quality) services offered by an increasing number of stakeholders: Google Scholar, Mendeley, ResearchGate etc.);

4) new internet-based reputation mechanisms were born and are being explored;

5) transparency of scientific data and the results is increasingly required for publishing work;

6) growth of “massively collaborative science” and “citizen science” impacting organization of research.

In light of these developments, we are inviting submission for a special issue of Electronic Markets to take stock of the transformation, identify and articulate distinctive patterns of change in this market, but also foresight studies or thought pieces.

The special issue will provide a link across different levels of analysis:

  • industry and infrastructure
  • firm and network strategy
  • authors, readers and changing practices of content production and consumption.

Central issues and themes

Possible topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Industry view
    • Scholarly communication stakeholders / ecosystem (author, reader, reviewer, editor, publisher, libraries, universities, state …)
    • Transformation of competition in the academic publishing market: new entrants, shifting market power, increasing transparency
    • Competitive strategies
    • Dis-, re-, cybermediation in the academic publishing market
    • The economics of rankings: quality metric, performance metric, market signal    
  • Content production view
    • The transformation of the production chain: new roles and linkages among the members of the ecosystem
    • The transformation of academic knowledge production and publishing based on digital infrastructures
    • Prosuming authors: the multiple roles of authors
  • Service design and innovation
    • Components of the digital production chain
    • The role and transformation of rankings, impact factors etc.
  • Transformation of existing (incumbents’) business models
    • Pricing models (status, trends)
    • Value propositions of publishers/ intermediaries
  • Disruptive innovation
    • Open content/ open access as disruptor
    • New formats and genre of academic publications

We encourage contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual pieces, case studies, empirical studies, literature reviews. If you are interested in opinion pieces (position papers), please contact the guest editors. We would also like to welcome authors publishing on the topic of academic publishing with reference to electronic markets and networked businesses.

We further welcome contributions addressing related topics not listed above (please contact the special issue editors in that case to discuss the fit prior to submission).

All papers will be peer reviewed and should conform to Electronic Markets publication standards. Electronic Markets is a SSCI-listed journal and supports methodological and theoretical pluralism, i.e. empirical or theoretical work, qualitative research and design science are all welcome by the journal. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special issue, please contact the guest editors.


All papers must be original, not published or under review elsewhere. Papers must be submitted via our electronic submission system at

Instructions, templates and general information are available at

Please note the preferred article length must be in a range of 3,500 to 6,500 words.


Submission Deadline: February 29, 2016