Larivière, Vincent, Stefanie Haustein, and Philippe Mongeon. 2015. “The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era.” PLOS ONE 10 (6): e0127502.

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Created date

June 15, 2018

Critical Commentary

Angela Okune: This 2015 paper by Lariviere et al. analyzes the consolidation of the scientific publishing industry to assess the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines. The authors conducted an analysis of over 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science during the period from 1973-2013 and find that in both the natural and medical sciences and the social sciences and humanities, Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of all published output. They found this to be especially greater since the boom of digitization (from the mid-1990s). Strikingly, in 2013, the top five most prolific publishers combined accounted for more than 50% of all papers published. This demonstrates the increasing consolidation of power amongst the top academic publishers.