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LIS-E-RESOURCES  October 2009

LIS-E-RESOURCES October 2009

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Subject:

Hybrid Journal pricing (II): when and by how much will we see EMBO prices decrease?

From:

Bernd-Christoph Kämper <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

An informal open list set up by UKSG - Connecting the Information Community <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Oct 2009 16:13:04 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (46 lines)

Hybrid Journal pricing (II): when and by how much will we see EMBO 
prices decrease?

Summary: When EMBO moved its flagship EMBO Journal + Reports from OUP to 
NPG in 2003/04, research libraries suffered from an excessive price hike 
by a factor 2 or more. In Dec 2006 EMBO & NPG announced the availability 
of an Open access option for authors (EMBO Open). Also, it was announced 
that the site license pricing model for the EMBO package would move to a 
mixed revenue model if subscription charges and publication fees, with 
the site license price to be adjusted adjusted "in line with the amount 
of subscription content published annually". Based on an analysis of 
EMBO's publication output 2001 -- 2009 from both journals, we find that 
-- as the net result of a decrease in the total number of published 
articles and an increase in the number of articles published and paid 
for under the EMBO Open program, a decrease in the amount of 
subscription content published annually of 17% in 2007 (relative to 
2006), and 29% in 2008 (relative to 2007, or even 42% relative to 2006). 
On the other hand, for 2009, as a result of editorial policy changes 
made by EMBO (they have increased the number of invited commentaries and 
commissioned review articles, also those assembled in focus issues), we 
predict an increase of 24% for 2009 relative to 2008, but still a 27% 
decrease relative to 2006. EMBO Open uptake for original articles itself 
started at 4% in 2007, and is now around 15% (value for 2008 was 16%, 
estimate for 2009 is 14%). Total estimated revenue from EMBO Open 
publication fees for 2007 -- 2009 has already surpassed GBP 200,000. 
EMBO / NPG failed to make a price adjustment for 2009; we now expect 
that they stick to their promise from Dec 2006 and finally lower their 
site license price by about 1/3. Since the first adjustment was left 
out, an upward adjustment for 2011 should not be necessary and the price 
could remain the same as the adjusted price for 2010. Apart from this 
compensatory measure, we do not believe that year to year fluctuations 
should be "averaged out", as this would make pricing intransparent and 
set a wrong market signal. If publishers like NPG/EMBO do not keep their 
promise to adjust their pricing in response to increased OA uptake and 
published output, we in effect have an additional revenue model, not a 
mixed revenue model. In this case, universities who have installed an 
open access fund, should indeed ask themselves whether such journals 
should not be excluded from their gold OA funding on a matter of principle.

For the full paper, cf.
http://www.ub.uni-stuttgart.de/ejournals/Hybrid_journal_pricing_EMBO.doc

Bernd-Christoph Kaemper, Stuttgart University Library

lis-e-resources is a UKSG list - http://www.uksg.org/serials
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