1 Dec 2009

The Revolution Starts Here

I just got another paper published, and this one is -- if I may say -- awesome.

"The Auction Market for Journal Articles" (co-authored with Jens Pruefer) turns the academic publishing world on its head, replacing the current "push" system (authors send papers to editors, one journal at a time) with a "pull" system where editors compete for papers by bidding in an auction.

The AMJA will be published in Public Choice sometime in the next few years, but you can read it -- for free -- right now. Yay Open Access!
Abstract: We recommend that an auction market replace the current system for submitting academic papers and show a strict Pareto-improvement in equilibrium. Besides the benefit of speed, this mechanism increases the average quality of articles and journals and rewards editors and referees for their effort. The “academic dollar” proceeds from papers sold at auction go to authors, editors and referees of cited articles.* This nonpecuniary income indicates the academic impact of an article—facilitating decisions on tenure and promotion. This auction market does not require more work of editors.
Bottom Line Academic publication does not work very well because editors and referees are always finding reasons to reject papers. The AMJA flips this dynamic, so that editors and referees are trying to improve papers, which will benefit both authors and readers!
* The feedback loop from this innovation is powerful -- authors and referees get to send their A$ income to whatever journal they like, which means that journals will pay a LOT of attention to their needs.

2 comments:

  1. David: Is the PLos model treated in the article that you cite, Public Library of Science? PLoS and PLoS-I also could be said to turn academic publishing on its head. The new issues in scientific publishing are open access, all digital, author pays (not libraries), etc. Check it out.

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  2. @FC -- yes, they are the same. I contacted them, but they never wrote back. If you have an inside track, please connect us. They are in SF, so that's not so far :)

    AMJA is considerably more sophisticated than author pays, btw.

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