Journal subscription costs


This year’s installment of open access week is started with a remainder why open access is discussed and why we need to continue to discuss it. The journal subscription costs have been debated for a long time and is are, especially by those advocating open access.

It is know that the journal costs libraries have are high but there has not been too much information or data of the exact costs. There are a couple of reasons for this, among others that it has not been customary to publish this information and that libraries often have non-disclosure agreements with the publishers, which limits the library’s possibilities to make the costs known to public. Now two British men have made a FOI request[1] aiming to find out just how much libraries a paying journal publishers. This request has resulted in the data set[2] liked below.

Many open access-journals are being financed by using article processing charge. This means that the author instead of the reader is paying for the publishers publication costs. Discussions about these costs is on-going and many are of the opinion that it is too expensive to publish in open access journals. These costs should be seen in relation to the amounts of money libraries are paying for journal subscriptions and therefore closed access research.

Pieta Eklund

[1] Freedom of information, is a possibility for all members of the public to request information from public service organisations either directly or through a website: The requests made through the website are made public as well as the answers. The cited page is for British organisations.

[2] Lawson, Stuart; Meghreblian, Ben (2014): Journal subscription costs – FOIs to UK universities. figshare. Retrieved 07:57, Oct 07, 2014 (GMT)


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About Forskningsrelaterat

Bibliotekarie och doktorand som tycker att bibliotekets forskarstöd är intressant, speciellt publiceringsstöd och open access. Skriver en avhandling om samarbete mellan bibliotekarier och forskare. Librarian and a PhD Student working with library research support with main focus on publishing support and open access. Writing a doctoral dissertation on collaboration between librarians and researchers.