The Cost of Journals -- and Their Future

September 2, 2009

A new report from the National Humanities Alliance finds that the average cost per page of a sample of eight humanities and social sciences journals is $526, almost twice the costs for science and technology journals. The analysis of the eight journals was conducted to help disciplinary associations get a better understanding of the economics of their publishing ventures, at a time of increasing pressure to embrace the open access movement, in which research is available online and free. The humanities alliance's report finds that open access would not be a "sustainable option" for the journals studied. At the same time, the report suggests that a more complete study -- going well beyond the eight journals -- is needed. Such a study might better examine differences among journals in the humanities and social sciences disciplines, the current report says. The new report may be found here. Analysis of it from the American Historical Association may be found here.

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