[Open-access] World budget for scholarly publishing (journals)

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Oct 15 09:47:09 UTC 2012

On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM, Mike Taylor <mike at indexdata.com> wrote:

> On 15 October 2012 10:07, Laurent Romary <laurent.romary at inria.fr> wrote:
> > Dear all,
> > I remember PMR mentioning some figures concerning the annual budget
> academic institution dedicate to scholarly publishing (mainly journal
> subscriptions). Can someone remind me of a figure and possibly a source.
> See "The STM Report: an overview of scientific and scholarly journal
> publishing" at
> http://www.stm-assoc.org/2009_10_13_MWC_STM_Report.pdf
> page says that "The annual revenues generated from English-language
> STM journal publishing are estimated at about $8 billion in 2008, up
> by 6-7% compared to 2007, within a broader STM publishing market worth
> some $16 billion."
> Thanks Mike.
This is an area where precise figures are difficult to find. Publishers may
give their overall revenues to the taxman but they aren't normally broken
down. So it's hard to say how much of ACS revenue is journals, how much
Chemical Abstracts.

There are lots of grey areas. What is a journal? what is a monograph in a
series? (Some monographs can sell for several thousand USD). And reprints -
this is very profitable in medicine and I seem to remember that one paper
has been reputed to bring in a million dollars in reprints.

I generally say 15 Billion USD and haven't been challenged. FWIW the
world's public funding for STM seems to be about 300 B USD (very crude
figure). This means that publishing is about 5% of research costs. Wellcome
area prepared to pay about1-2% of research grants for publication. This
gives a useful indication of the overpricing by the current providers.


> For some disturbing maths based on this figure, see
> http://svpow.com/2012/07/18/what-does-it-cost-to-publish-a-paywalled-paper-with-anyone/
> -- Mike.
> _______________________________________________
> open-access mailing list
> open-access at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-access

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-access/attachments/20121015/bc1ca04e/attachment.html>

More information about the open-access mailing list