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The digital scholar
The digital scholar

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Recreating the existing model

An image of an illuminated ‘open’ sign.
Figure 2 Open access

If we take these in order, recreating existing models is a reasonable first step. Methods of recreating the existing model in digital scholarship terms include adding in a layer of peer review to blog-like practices or making conventional journals more open. For instance, a number of journals now operate a model where the author (or more likely, the author's institution) pays to have an article made open access. Publishers charge between $500 and $3,000 for this model, and as Waltham (2009) reports take-up has been limited with 73 per cent of publishers reporting 5 per cent or less adoption of this model. This is hardly surprising and highlights one of the problems with attempting to recreate current practice. We will look at the economics of the academic publishing industry in more detail later, but given that scholars have provided the writing, editing, and reviewing time free of charge, it seems somewhat unlikely that they will then pay to have the article published online, when it can be done freely by their own means. An attempt then to graft the open, digital, networked approach onto existing practice and then continue as normal fails to address many of the more fundamental issues and also the possibilities afforded by the new technologies.