ERIC Number: ED311922
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May
Report of the ARL Serials Prices Project. A Compilation of Reports Examining the Serials Prices Problem.
Association of Research Libraries, Washington, DC.
The rising prices of journals and serials--major information sources for academic and research communities--are explored in this work, which presents two contractor reports on the topic. These two reports are introduced by an overview and summary together with recommendations for further Association of Research Libraries (ARL) action, short statements that define the problem and its impacts, and relate ARL's current actions (i.e., the Serials Prices Project) to options for immediate and long-term actions. The first report, "A Study of Trends in Average Prices and Costs of Certain Serials over Time," from Economic Consulting Service, Inc., explores whether serials price increases are warranted, given the cost structure of the publishing industry. It concludes that subscriptions have increased more rapidly than production costs, with a price/cost differential of between 4.5% and 12.9%. In the second report, "Of Making Books There Is No End," Ann Okerson describes the serials crisis as threefold: (1) the consumer problem, i.e., libraries must learn to be vigilant consumers rather than passive archives of everything published; (2) the systemic problem caused by the workings of the publishing industry; and (3) the economist's view of the problem, i.e., serials as a "natural monopoly" product. For the two reports, figures and tables support key points. A summary of the problems and recommendations for ARL action conclude the publication. References are provided for the two reports and concluding section, and appended materials include ARL statistics on serials. (SD)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Cost Indexes, Economic Climate, Higher Education, Library Expenditures, Publishing Industry, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals, Scientific and Technical Information, Serials
Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 ($60.00).
Publication Type: Collected Works - General; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of Research Libraries, Washington, DC.