April 10, 2009

Scholarly publishers consider price freezes

In her article in the Chronicle of Higher Education's April 10 issue, "University Press Hears Libraries' Pleas and Freezes Journal Prices," Jennifer Howard tells how publishers like Annual Reviews and Rockefeller University Press have decided not to raise their prices in 2010. This comes in response to formal requests from organizations like the Association of Research Libraries and the International Coalition of Library Consortia.

Some compelling statements from publishers in the article:

"We understand the pressure that librarians are under because of budget cuts in the current economic climate, and we realized that even if we kept our prices the same, we could continue, we hope, to bring in enough revenue to operate. We still need income to publish journals, [he said, but as a nonprofit] we don't have to provide a dividend to shareholders."
-- Mike Rossner, executive director, Rockefeller University Press

"We don't have the margin that a lot of companies, particularly commercial companies, have [... This year the press will stick to what she called] the most moderate price increase we can possibly pass along, [perhaps as low as 3 percent for digital-only journals]. We're still running the numbers and seeing what we can tolerate. We're trying really hard. [The California press] paid very close attention to the statements [from the library groups]. We know it's a tough budget environment for them. It's a tough climate for all of us."

-- Rebecca Simon, associate director and director of journals and digital publishing, University of California Press

"[Presses and libraries] live and die together, really. We understand the pressures that are on them and don't want to do anything to damage that relationship."
-- William M. Breichner, journals publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press

Posted by stemp003 at April 10, 2009 11:16 AM
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