Re: Journal costs

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 18:19:26 -0500

on Sat, 24 Feb 2001 David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU> wrote:
> Mr. Smith raises an excellent point, and I apologize for not replying
> more promptly. The positive feedback that has produced the destructive
> vicious cycle in journal prices could work in the opposite
> direction.
> If a publisher were to refrain from increasing prices for a journal, then
> that journal would probably lose very few subscriptions. If a publisher
> were to decrease prices, then it might experience no loss in subscriptions
> at all.

        This is an interesting theory, one which I have heard before. However,
        I don't believe that the history of journal prices supports it very well.

        Journals that increased their pages over the last 30 years, such as
        PHYSICAL REVIEW, should reasonably be justified in raising their prices
        in excess of general inflation -- even provided there were no cancellations.
        About half the nonmember subscriptions were dropped, in spite of
        APS subdividing PR to address complaints about prices and material
        not relevant to some subscribers' interests.

        Journals that did not increase their pages, such as REVIEWS OF
        MODERN PHYSICS, reported falling subscriptions in spite of an
        earnest effort to hold prices within reason.

        You can read all about it in the editors' reports published in the
        BULLETIN of the APS

        Best wishes,

Albert Henderson
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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