May 7, 2010

Journals forecast to cost 7-8% more in 2011

Library Journal, in its annual Periodical Price Survey, says that the current state of the dollar means that journal prices will likely average 7-8% more in cost next year. Given the state budget deficit and the effect that will undoubtedly have on funding for higher education, LJ's forecast raises concern about the Libraries' ability to hold off journal cancellations.

Contrary to perceptions that access issues only affect scientists, LJ projects that journals in the social sciences and arts / humanities will actually have a higher price increase than science journals (7.8-7.9% for the former, 7.3% for the latter).

An excerpt:

Price increases notwithstanding, indications are that all academic publishers were affected by the economic downturn. In February 2010, ESBCO conducted a private survey of its 100 largest business partners, including STM and society publishers, university presses, and for-profit consumer houses. Sixty percent of those responding said that the economic downturn had a negative impact on their business in 2009. Twenty-five percent reported a one percent to five percent decline in orders; 30 percent, a five percent to ten percent decline; and 17 percent, a more than ten percent drop.

As expected, print orders in particular declined for 2010, with 58 percent of publishers reporting a reduction in print orders in the five percent to ten percent range. Most publishers also noted that efforts to recapture lost print orders had failed. When asked about pricing plans for 2011, 80 percent of publishers indicated they were considering price increases, possibly coupled with pricing model changes.

The last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 saw a number of major publisher acquisitions and mergers. In December 2009, Cinven and Candover announced the sale of Springer to EQT, a Swedish private equity firm. While the Springer sale may not have an immediate consequence on the library market, the new owners will ultimately expect a reasonable return on their investment, which could mean increased pricing pressures. Although the Wiley-Blackwell merger took place in 2007, repercussions were still being felt in 2009 as consortia negotiated new contracts for the combined content. Despite a poor economy and pruned library budgets, the new contracts provided little relief for libraries.

Posted by stemp003 at May 7, 2010 12:53 PM
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