Digital Transformation of Academic Publishing: A Call for the Decentralization and Democratization of Academic Journals

Michel Avital*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

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This opinion paper aims, following a brief overview of the state of affairs of the academic publishing ecosystem, to shed light on a market failure that stems from commercial publishers harnessing that ecosystem for exorbitant profits at the expense of the scientific enterprise and society at large. The paper examines how emerging technologies can help the scientific community grapple with this predicament and reestablish an institutional logic that favors scholarship and world benefit over the economic interests of publishers. Building on Web3 technologies, the paper suggests a two-pronged strategy that relies primarily on blockchain and AI technologies to help restore a fair and equitable power balance and improve the publishing experience. This proposed course of action presents an opportunity to tackle the grand challenge faced by the academic publishing ecosystem while simultaneously asserting the IS community’s proclaimed role as stewards of the digital revolution. It is time for us to harness digital technology to transform our journals from monolithic monarchies to agile democracies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Academic publishing
  • Academic journals
  • Decentralized journals
  • DAOs
  • Blockchain
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Web3

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