ERIC Number: ED336100
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Sep-13
Research Journal Prices--Trends and Problems. Update. CRS Report for Congress.
Rowberg, Richard E.
This report highlights the trends and problems associated with rapid price increases of foreign-published journals, especially science and technology journals. It is observed that a combination of effects--e.g., discriminatory pricing on the part of some foreign publishers, the sharp decline of the U.S. dollar--have resulted in subscription cancellation and the curtailment of journal purchases by libraries. The principal causal factors for price increases are examined--e.g., high printing costs, page number growth in journals, the sheer number of new journals on the market, the inelasticity of a concentrated foreign publishing market--and various measures to reduce journal costs are discussed. These include: increasing the general awareness of the problem among faculty administrators and government bodies; examining journal use patterns; applying pressure to selected publishers; and increasing competition in the journal publication business. It is noted that professional societies are generally more cost-effective than private publishers in the publication of physics journals. It is suggested that the increased use of electronic technology may help in the longer term, but that the costs associated with these new systems and networks will likely increase current library budgetary problems. Four graphs are included which: (1) identify 1975-1987 serial price trends in university libraries; (2) compare 1985-1987 foreign and U.S. serial costs; (3) identify 1981-1987 serial cost increases for three publishing companies; (4) and profile the serial cost effectiveness of physics journals for eight publishing companies. (MAB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Congressional Research Service.