New Data on Journal Prices in EconomicsCollected by Elizabeth Dhuey and
We have created an updated Excel spreadsheet with a great deal of detailed data on about 300 economics-related journals. This file now contains data for the year 2004 as well as from 1999-2000.
Price per pageThis file lists journals by price per page in 1999 and 2004. The difference between prices per page charged by commercial publishers and those charged by university presses and professional societies is remains truly striking.
Price per Citation (What should your library cancel?)If you are thinking about asking your library to cancel some overpriced journals and substitute cheaper, better ones, you will want to know something about the number of times each journal is cited. The attached spreadsheet lists best buys and worst buys as measured by price per recent citation.
In 1988, Heinz Barschall, a physics professor at the University of Wisconsin, published articles in which he compared the price per page and cost per unit of impact factor for the leading physics journals of the time. He found drastic differences between the prices charged per page by commercial and non-profit publishers. The worst offender was a publisher called Gordon & Breach. Gordon & Breach responded by suing Barschall and his publisher, the American Institute of Physics, in the courts of four countries. Here is an account o f Barshall's misadventure.
More on this fascinating story can be found here. Gordon & Breach threatened others, including the American Mathematical Society with lawsuits for publishing data on journal prices. Barschall eventually won all of these lawsuits. Gordon & Breach has now been absorbed by the Taylor and Francis conglomerate.
We have updated Barschall's study by calculating similar data for his sample of journals. You can find our results at this link.