Friday, April 18, 2008

Periodicals Price Survey 2008

Library Journal recently published its annual analysis of periodical prices: Periodicals Price Survey 2008: Embracing Openness. The study provides an excellent overview of the developments (there were many!) in the Open Access arena over the past year.

The study reveals that periodical prices over the past year have continued their inexorable increase, the rate of increase in the Humanities being particularly striking.


The marked changes brought on by the advance of open access has so far had little effect on the price of subscribed journals, the notable exception being some 3300 peer-reviewed journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), all of which are free. Prices of subscription-based journals increased nine to ten percent in 2008, driven by an extremely weak dollar. Non-U.S. titles in the humanities and social sciences increased even more (11 percent), because publishers in these disciplines tend to price in native currencies, driving U.S. prices up when those currencies are converted to dollars. The sciences, on the other hand, are dominated by large European publishers that price in U.S. dollars, reducing the volatility of prices and keeping price increases in foreign scientific journals under nine percent. Given the continuing slide of the dollar, expect increases in 2009 to approach ten percent overall.

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