The sustainability argument or… How academic journals economic models never really last

« The starting point for this post is an article from Scholarly Kitchen in which, once again, the sustainability of Diamond journals and here the Subscribe to Open model, is questioned. This leads the author, Rick Anderson, to define sustainability:
“It’s a concept that gets invoked in many different contexts to mean a range of different things, but in this context its meaning is both basic and simple: a publisher’s business model is sustainable if it’s able to be sustained over time. […] What determines sustainability? For an ongoing and open-ended project like publishing, the baseline determinant of sustainability is simple: recurring, reliable revenue.”
This definition is interesting, though it stands on a muddy ground: how do we define “recurring reliable revenue”? What is the timeframe to judge reliability? My post will argue that there is no such thing as a stable business model, at least for a long time. Moreover, if Anderson is right to question the S20 future, the same questions should be asked to much-lightly considered “stable models”, starting with subscriptions. (…) »

source >, Didier Torny, 30 novembre 2022