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RE: Monopolies in publishing

Our perception as a publisher is that serious efforts are being made by
publishers to drag editors into the 21st century, technology-wise.
Regarding the statement that publishers have little incentive to pass cost
savings on to customers, that depends on the publisher's business

Periodical publishers have seen drops in subscriptions with every price
increase. They know that price increases fuel further drops in
subscriptions and that unless this cycle is stopped, they'll be out of
business (and lots of journals will disappear.)

Publishers with a long-term view therefore have a strong incentive to keep
subscription prices stable. On the other hand, publishers with a shorter
term view may choose to simply milk the market for all they can get before
the market runs dry.

Our view is that the consolidation in the academic journal sector, like
consolidation in other industries, reflects a business model moving from a
mature phase to a declining one. Subscriber bases are shrinking, not
growing. Unless journal publishers can achieve breakthrough cost
reductions, many academic journals will cease to exist, thereby reducing
the number of outlets for publishing research work.

Dean H. Anderson
COR Health

COR Health
Insight ... not just news

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu]On Behalf Of Joseph J.
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 2:02 PM
To: Hamaker, Chuck; liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Monopolies in publishing

Oh, Chuck, I'm sorry, but you are wrong here.  The savings are
substantial. They show up in Elsevier's outsized profit.  There is little
incentive for Elsevier to pass these savings onto customers.  By and large
the use of electronic processes is irrelevant to the cost issues.  The
real costs for publishing companies is in staff and the space to house
them.  Consolidation results in layoffs and higher profits.  I am not
defending the practice, merely explaining it.

Joe  ("Jose"!) Esposito

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hamaker, Chuck" <cahamake@email.uncc.edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>; <espositoj@worldnet.att.net>
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 1:16 PM
Subject: RE: Monopolies in publishing

> There isn't much evidence of economies of scale in Elsevier and other
> large journals publishers operations. Per page/per journal,per 1000
> character or per 10,000 characters if you look at price to libraries,
> economy of scale, if it exists, doesn't show in the pricing.
> The market has been so inelastic I believe, that large publishers have had
> little incentive to look for means to internalize real savings in
> production costs. And anecdotally, editor's processess have been fairly
> well stuck in the 50's for many publishers. Even IF the publishing house
> has "electronic" forwarding of mss to editors and reviewers, my
> guestimate from talking with various publishers, is that less than 50%
> of editors actually use the newer and potentially more cost effective
> means for transmitting mss for review, processing, etc. True In house,
> i".e. "typesetting", layout, proofing, etc.
> there may be scale savings, but even that's hard to tell, and is where you
> would expect the most cost savings/economy of scale. But now some
> publisher's tell us that the "in house" what they have control over costs
> are not the significant piece of the puzzle.
> Just my opinion, backed with a fair amount of research done by many
> others.-Cost(i.e. subscription price) per k/character studies have been a
> standard for 40 years or more, and they haven't shown much if any
> economy of scale with commercial publishers.
> Chuck Hamaker