Modeling a Modest Proposal for Increasing the Efficiency of Academic Research Dissemination

Hugh M. Cannon, James N. Cannon


Over the years, ABSEL has sought to promote research by making its research more readily available to scholars. This parallels a broader effort by academic research institutions to improve the dissemination of scholarly research in general. To put these efforts in perspective, we view academic journals and conference proceedings as a kind of distribution intermediary for research, analogous to retail intermediaries in conventional marketing. In an environment of increasing competition for scarce resources, the structure of conventional intermediaries has changed dramatically, incorporating Internet technologies to increase distribution efficiency. In similar fashion, we have begun to see the impact of Internet technologies on the structure of conventional academic journals. However, the change has been relatively slow relative to many other industries. This paper proposes a more efficient approach to the distribution of academic research that builds on the existing strength of academic journals while harnessing the greater efficiency of low-cost internet distribution. It evaluates the effect of the proposed approach by modelling the distributional problems facing academic research, showing how increased distribution efficiency, and the proposed approach in particular, would increase overall research efficiency.

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