Scholarly Communication: Publishing Models

Information on: author's rights and publishing models for scholarly works; open access to scholarly works through the Marquette institutional repository, ePublications@Marquette

Traditional Publishing Model

In the 1960's and 1970's commercial publishers took interest in publishing scholarly work that was being published by nonprofit academic societies. The economic model for doing this involves:

  1. Scholars who design and conduct research as well as write articles and create other works pertaining to the research
  2. Scholars who provide peer-review of the research
  3. Publishers who organize vetting services, and provide editorial services and distribution
  4. Colleges, universities, and research institutions that purchase the journals and other research works to support their scholars and scholarly progress in general

There are some inherent problems with this model:

  1. Access is restricted to those with a subscription to the often pricey journal or other research work
  2. Publishers have a monopoly over research they didn't create and have leverage for charging high fees back to the same institutions that did the research.

The steep rise in subscription costs for scholarly journals, especially in the sciences, has had a significant impact on libraries. This price escalation has often led to routine cancellations of journal subscriptions and cutbacks in other areas of collecting.

Open Access Publishing Models

Open Access Models

Open access in academia means to have scholarly research works available on the web without fees and without copyright restrictions. Different models for OA exist. Two more common models include:

  • Green OA - Authors publish articles in whatever journals they choose, but deposit their final refereed draft in their university's institutional repository to make it free online.
  • Gold OA - Authors publish in journals that make their articles free online, sometimes at a fee to the author/university.
  • Hybrid versions of these models also exist. Some material may have an embargo and is made openly accessible after a period of time designated by the publisher or copyright holder. Some funding institutions attempt to make research openly accessible by placing mandates on authors, requiring them to make their work openly accessible within a defined period of time.


Some universities and granting organizations place mandates on authors to comply with open access models. The National Institute of Health (NIH) mandates researchers funded by the organization to submit final peer-reviewed manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central for open access within 12 months of publication.

The proposed Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act (FASTR) would require agencies receiving $100 million or more annually in publicly-funded research funds to provide open, online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than twelve months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Mandate Resources:


Institutional and disciplinary repositories have emerged to support open access. Content in these open access repositories may vary. Most contain peer-reviewed scholarly journals, journal articles, books, or book chapters all with varied pre or post-publication formatting. The University of Marquette has had its IR since 2009. Visit ePublications@Marquette to view the scholarly work of our faculty, staff, and students.

Other repositories can be found through OpenDOAR, the Directory of Open Access Repositories. This resource not only allows users to search for repositories but also repository contents and statistics.

Open Access Journals

There are many universities and disciplinary organizations creating openly accessible journals for researchers to publish in. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a resource for scholars and researchers interested in depositing their work in a peer-reviewed, openly accessible electronic journal.

Impact Metrics

Many measuring systems have been created to assist researchers with understanding the impact of research. There isn't a "best" system. Each have inherent flaws that should be recognized when used.

A nice overview of the various impact metrics systems can be viewed on the Raynor Memorial Libraries "Impact Factors" webpage: