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Dana Roth
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It was only a few years ago that society publishers were able to achieve a balance between page charges and reasonable institutional subscription rates. This business model was very effectively destroyed by commercial publishers who waived page charges. The enticement of 'free' publication, for a growing number of authors, finally forced the major society publishers to follow suit and compensate by increasing institution subscription rates. Currently, even without page charge revenue, both the American Chemical Society and American Physical Society, for example, continue to set institutional subscription rates at a fraction of the cost/page or cost/article for commercial journals published by Elsevier, Springer and Wiley. Compare for example the 2005 cost/page for: Inorganic Chemistry(ACS) $0.26 Inorganica Chim. Acta(Els) $1.88 Organic Letters(ACS) $0.65 Tetrahedron Letters(Els) $1.60 Biomacromolecules(ACS) $0.30 Biopolymers(Wiley) $3.70 And the 2004 cost/article for: Phys. Rev.-B(APS) $1.33 Thin Solid Films(Els) $7.30 Phys. Status Solidi-B(Wiley-VCH) $8.64 Eur. Phys. J. - B(Springer) $11.42 J. Mech. Phys. Solids(Els) $28.42 These examples strongly suggest that the reason why "universities can't afford to keep all their subscriptions"(2) is the result of a disfunctional commercial journal business model and not the fault of learned society publishers.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2006 on It Gets Lonely Out Here at T. Scott