UC says no to Nature Publishing Group.

The question is, what will Nature Publishing Group say back?

The UC system has sent a strongly-worded letter to NPG, in response to NPG’s plans to increase journal subscription costs by 400% next year.

Four hundred percent.  Four.  Hundred.  Percent.

These are not cheap journal subscriptions to start with, let me remind you.  In 2007, average journal cost for math and computer science journals was $1313.  Average journal cost for physics was $2865.  [Source:  Library Journal.]

If we even use those outdated costs (journal subscription inflation tends to be in the neighborhood of 10%, so they are outdated) then that would put the average cost of physics journals at $11460.  Per year.  Per journal.

And, as a reminder:  much of the content published in these journals is produced by faculty and students at the universities that are then asked to pay exorbitant subscription costs.  Much of it is funded by federal, state, or other government grants.

I’m tagging this one “social justice.”  And will be interested to hear what happens with The Big No.  (My prediction is that this 400% is an opening gambit by NPG, designed to make their final finishing place look more “reasonable,” although it will probably still be an enormous hike over the current year’s already-exorbitant rates.)

Flickr Creative Commons photo by U-g-g-Boy.

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One thought on “UC says no to Nature Publishing Group.

  1. Grace Baynes says:

    On behalf of Nature Publishing Group:
    We understand that the letter from University of California and California Digital Library has raised concerns. However, we believe that the situation was not described fairly by CDL.
    We have now issued a public statement on this matter, where we have fully described our understanding and position. You can find our statement here: http://www.nature.com/press_releases/cdl.html
    Nature Publishing Group will be doing all we can to bring this to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.
    Grace Baynes
    Nature Publishing Group

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