How to print money

How much are academic journals worth? The following table gives some indication of dollar costs and how they have changed over a 5 year period.

LC Classification Average
cost/title
2005
Average
cost/title
2009
Percentage
increase
Anthropology $389 $543 40%
Chemistry $2799 $3690 32%
Engineering $1530 $2047 34%
History $183 $263 44%
Philosophy and Religion $205 $281 37%
Political Science $365 $539 48%

Reproduced from http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/scholarlycommunication/the_crisis.html

That’s a hefty increase. Did producing academic journals become over 30% more expensive in that period? No. In fact the cost of producing journals should be much less than it used to be. Many journals are no longer physically printed and so there is a reduction in manufacturing and┬ádistribution costs. The typesetting of papers is increasingly done by authors using desktop tools (such as the absolutely fabulous Latex). The people who write the papers are not paid. The people who review the papers are not paid. The editors of the respective journals are not paid. There will be some paid staff at the journal to coordinate, undertake aspects of typesetting and proof reading. Important jobs but ones that do not command very high salaries. So just were is all this extra money going to? Continue reading