Estimating the potential impacts of open access to research findings

Houghton, John and Sheehan, Peter (2009) Estimating the potential impacts of open access to research findings. Economic Analysis and Policy, 39 (1). pp. 127-142. ISSN 0313-5926


Advances in information and communication technologies are disrupting traditional models of scholarly publishing, radically changing our capacity to reproduce, distribute, control, and publish information. The key question is whether there are new opportunities and new models for scholarly publishing that would better serve researchers and better communicate and disseminate research findings. Identifying access and efficiency limitations under the subscription publishing model, this paper explores the potential impacts of enhanced access to research outputs using a modified Solow-Swan model, which introduces ‘accessibility’ and ‘efficiency’ parameters into calculating returns to R&D. Indicative impact ranges are presented for Government, Higher Education and Australian Research Council R&D expenditures. We conclude that there may be substantial benefits to be gained from more open access to research findings.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 340000 Economics
Historical > SEO Classification > 9199 Other Economic Framework
Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing
Keywords publishing economics, Open Access (OA), returns to R&D, scientific publishing market
Citations in Scopus 28 - View on Scopus
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