The continual escalation in academic journal prices threatens the quality and future of academic library collections. This situation arises from market forces that react to, and take advantage of, the unique characteristics of academic libraries and scholarly publishing. These characteristics include the unique role of academic libraries, in their mission of serving as accessible repositories of knowledge, and the unique activity of scholarly publishing, in which every journal title is unique without a close substitute. The combination of these of factors leads to the lowest price elasticity of demand for the libraries and the highest degree of product differentiation for each journal title. While some solutions being offered to alter the dilemma hold promise, the unique characteristics of the market appear to discourage more equitable pricing without a radical restructuring of the industry or of the relationships between the consumers and the producers of academic journals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management Information Systems
- Library and Information Sciences