The electronic revolution in academic publishing brings promises as well as pitfalls. The main promises are greater efficiency, vastly greater access to the journal literature, a more equitable global sharing of intellectual resources, and hopefully improved quality. Open access—free entry to the electronic version of the journal literature—is in many ways a logical continuation of this development and will break the trend toward accelerating journal costs. But if the subscription revenue simply disappears, neither publishers nor editors will have the necessary funding to keep up peer review and other editorial routines. One alternative is to levy page charges for publication. Intermediate models are also possible, where the journal may keep its copyright to the final edited product while authors are allowed to post the final submitted version on their Web site. At the moment, open access is uncommon in international relations, but the publishers and owners of journals, including academic societies such as ISA, would be wise to think through these issues before they become acute. This symposium is a contribution to that process.
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