### Elsevier Journal Prices

#### Posted by John Baez

Do you have data about Elsevier’s journal prices compared to other journals? If so, let me know! Before we launch the revolution, we need to get our facts straight.

My friend the physicist Ted Jacobson wants such data. With the help of a librarian, he has compared the prices of Elsevier’s physics journals to other physics journals subscribed to by his university…

He writes:

Here are some numbers related to the University of Maryland subscriptions:

$\array{ & cost & number & cost/title & cost per title: \\ & (in thousands & of & (in thousands & Elsevier/other \\ & of dollars) & titles & of dollars) & \\ Elsevier & 234 & 42 & 5.6 & 1 \\ Non-Elsevier & 310 & 149 & 2.1 & 2.7 \\ APS & 22 & 8 & 2.8 & 2.0 \\ IOP & 90 & 50 & 1.8 & 3.1 }$

Elsevier is 2.0 times as expensive as the excellent American Physical Society (APS) journals, 3.1 times as expensive as the excellent Institute of Physics (IOP) journals, and 2.7 times as expensive overall, i.e. comparing to all the non-Elsevier journals we get put together. Plus, note that included with the above costs we get electronic access to

allback issues of the entire PROLA (Physical review online archive) as well as the IOP archive.By contrast, electronic access to Elsevier back issue back to 1995 are included in the above, but before that costs extra. They are sold in subject packages. Nuclear Physics and Physics Letters and Physics Letters B are available from their beginning to 1994 in the High Energy/Nuclear Physics Collection, price $ 53,220 (includes 37 other titles). Physics Letters A is only available in the Physics General package which costs $ 100,890 (includes 78 other titles). According to one of our librarians, “these appear to be one-time costs”.

Ulf Rehmann has listed prices of math journals based on data from the American Mathematical Society, but it’d take a little work to compare different publishers’ prices. Has anyone already done this work?

And how about journals on other subjects?

## Re: Elsevier Journal Prices

Depends exactly how the data is calculated, but if you can tell me that then I can tell you the mathematics results. For example, going from the AMS journal data (which is what Ulf Rehman bases his webpage on) then there are 38 Elsevier titles (including Academic Press/Elsevier) out of 276. The mean price per journal for Elsevier is 2638 dollars, compared with 918 for non-Elsevier titles and 1205 overall.

$\array{ Publisher & Number & Mean Price & Mean & Elsevierian \\ & of Titles & per Title & of Complement & Ratio \\ Elsevier &38 & 2638 & 918 & 1 \\ American Math. Society & 6 & 693 & 1152 & 3.8 \\ Cambridge Univ. Press & 7 & 693 & 1154 &3.8 \\ International Press & 5 & 515 & 1154 & 5.1 \\ Oxford Univ. Press & 8 &729 & 1154 &3.6 \\ Soc. for Indust. Appl. Math & 9 & 620 & 1159 & 4.3 \\ Societe Math. de France & 4 & 328 & 1154 & 8 \\ Springer & 86 & 1380 & 1043 &1.9 \\ Walter de Guyter & 2& 1600 & 1140 & 1.6 \\ Wiley & 9 & 2168& 1110 &1.2 \\ Overall & 276 & 1205 & 0/0 & 2.2 }$

I’m not sure whether or not the figures for Springer are fair since there are journals listed with ‘Springer’, ‘Springer/Birkhauser’, and ‘Springer-Verlag’. I’ve lumped all of these together.