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Re: APS pricing policy

This message is forwarded for Dana Roth, Cal Tech.  Sincerely, the

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 14:24:21 -0700
From: dzrlib@library.caltech.edu
To: ann.okerson@yale.edu
Subject: response to APS pricing policy

Ann: this was announced back in June and I thought you might be interested
in my response to SLA-PAM.

I feel that the most significant feature of the APS pricing memo, is that
one can openly see the cost of production of the best physics journals.

Given the general inability of society publishers to continue, at least a
partial 'author pays' model, using page charges (primarily because
commercial publishers will not cooperate), the APS has no choice but to
raise the library subscription rates.

It is understandably difficult for librarians to make cancellation decisions
and risk offending faculty members, but given the fact that many faculty
members have voted with their wallets against 'page charges', it should be
obvious that library subscription rates for APS journals must be raised.
Fortunately, the APS ALL subscription price has historically been so
extremely reasonable, that the largest increase for any institution, in
2003, will be less than $5,000.

Given this cost data, it is also a fairly simple process to make comparisons
with other publishers and get a general feeling of the reasonableness of
the APS pricing structure. When one looks at the subscription prices of
competing journals such as Nuclear Physics and the European Physical
Journal, there is a very strong suspicion that something is amiss.

Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423  fax 626-792-7540