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Journal cost question

I have read about the monopoly of scientific journals and would like to spread the news. I have two questions. What was a typical journal subscription price pre-monopoly, and what is a typical cost during the monopoly?

Comments

  • 1.

    Hi! There's not exactly a monopoly: there's an oligopoly dominated by the 'Big Three' publishers - Reed-Elsevier, Springer and Wiley - together with many cheaper journals published by different professional societies. You can read a 1997 analysis of how this affects math journal prices here, see nicely formatted information on 2008 math journal prices and annual percentage price increases here, and get a spreadsheet on math journal prices from 1994 to 2011 here. The reason I'm focusing on math is that I'm a mathematician, and mathematicians seem to have compiled more of this information than other scientists - I could be wrong.

    Yes, I'm not answering your question! It's very hard to talk about a 'typical price' in today's market. You'll see that in 2008, math journals ranged from 0.10 to 4.08 dollars per page, with one of the most prestigious costing 0.13. Price per volume ranged from 140 dollars to 6,551 dollars.

    For journals in general, read the introduction to the 2002 Serials Price Index. They say:

    The data as computed by divine/Faxon Library Services show that the average 2002 price for U.S. Serial Services titles in the sample is $747.16 (Table 1). This is a 5.1% increase over the 2001 average, and over 2.5 times the average price for 1984.

    Prices vary vastly by field.

    Comment Source:Hi! There's not exactly a monopoly: there's an oligopoly dominated by the 'Big Three' publishers - Reed-Elsevier, Springer and Wiley - together with many cheaper journals published by different professional societies. You can read a 1997 analysis of how this affects math journal prices [here](http://math.berkeley.edu/~kirby/journals.html), see nicely formatted information on 2008 math journal prices and annual percentage price increases [here](http://www.mathematik.uni-bielefeld.de/~rehmann/BIB/AMS/Publisher.html), and get a spreadsheet on math journal prices from 1994 to 2011 [here](http://www.ams.org/membership/mem-journal-survey). The reason I'm focusing on math is that I'm a mathematician, and mathematicians seem to have compiled more of this information than other scientists - I could be wrong. Yes, I'm not answering your question! It's very hard to talk about a 'typical price' in today's market. You'll see that in 2008, math journals ranged from 0.10 to 4.08 dollars per page, with one of the most prestigious costing 0.13. Price per volume ranged from 140 dollars to 6,551 dollars. For journals in general, read the introduction to the [2002 Serials Price Index](http://www.ala.org/alcts/resources/collect/serials/spi/2002). They say: > The data as computed by divine/Faxon Library Services show that the average 2002 price for U.S. Serial Services titles in the sample is $747.16 (Table 1). This is a 5.1% increase over the 2001 average, and over 2.5 times the average price for 1984. Prices vary vastly by field.
  • 2.
    edited September 2012

    I overcame my laziness and did the research myself. Prestigious medical journals are the highest with about $10,000 annually for the New England Journal of Medicine. An April 2012 memo from the Harvard Library protested "destructive" "absurd price" journals, mentioned an unnamed journal with a $40,000 subscription fee, and advocated that professors resign from the boards of such journals.

    Comment Source:I overcame my laziness and did the research myself. Prestigious medical journals are the highest with about $10,000 annually for the New England Journal of Medicine. An April 2012 memo from the Harvard Library protested "destructive" "absurd price" journals, mentioned an unnamed journal with a $40,000 subscription fee, and advocated that professors resign from the boards of such journals.
  • 3.

    Basically journal prices scale according to how much money the people reading them have.

    Comment Source:Basically journal prices scale according to how much money the people reading them have.
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