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Re: Request for 2004 list prices for EMBO Journal in USD

Bernd-Christoph Kaemper, through his analysis of EMBO pricing has
highlighted two very important changes in the traditional subscription

1) Differential Pricing
2) The rise of opaque pricing models

Differential pricing is not a unique feature of Nature Publishing, nor
commercial publishers in general. Over the last few years, many
publishers (most notably societies) have adopted pricing models whereby
some institutions pay more than others (based on FTE, Carnegie Class,
number of life scientists, country, or combinations of these variables). What is different with Nature, and several other commercial publishers, is
that they are beginning to hide their pricing model. While PNAS, New
England Journal of Nature, Ecological Society of America (to just name a
few) are clear and explicit about how they determine what you will pay,
other publishers are not. Instead of a pricing schedule, you are
encouraged to "contact your representative for a custom quote". How do I
know that we've received a fair quote? I don't. Without seeing the
pricing model, I don't know if they are charging my institution more money
merely because they believe that Cornell should pay more. An ideal market
economy relies on open access to pricing information. Obscuring prices
and moving to a custom-quote model is only detrimental to library
customers in general -- based on market economics, we will all pay higher

Through his hard work and persistence, Bernd-Christoph Kaemper is
attempting to construct Nature's pricing model by encouraging customers to
share information. This work needs to be encouraged and enhanced by a
method for sharing, comparing, and distributing price quotes within the
library community for those publishers that insist on relying upon hidden
and cagey pricing models. This may be an arena where SPARC may show some

Philip Davis
Cornell University Library


At 03:55 PM 1/27/2004 -0500, you wrote:
Now this is getting complicated (as usual, *sigh*).
Apparently, NPG used a 3 Tier model

Small (1-2,999): $2,250
Medium (3,000-11,999): $3,000
Large (12,000-20,000): $3,600

(closely following corresponding FTE ranges for the Nature Research and
Review Journals) until late September 2003 and then switched over to the
new 5 Tier model mentioned below that will also hold for the Nature
Research and Review Journals from 2004 on (if your institution renewed
its site licenses for the Nature Journals under the old model, be
prepared for big price increases next year. More on that later.)
So please send me info on your EMBO quotes if they do NOT fit into the
no longer valid 3 tier model given above. (Another scheme seems to have
been used for research institutes, where the relevant FTE bands seem to
have been scaled down to 1-100, 101-500, 501-1000 R&D FTE.)

My current guess is (Print incl. Online, resp. E-only),
FTE ranges for Academic Institutions (Research Institutes):

   1-  499 (  1- 100)   $2250 $2025
 500- 1999 (101- 500)   $3000 $2775
2000- 5000 (501-1000)   $3600 $3375
5001-10000              $4165 $3940
     10000+             $5500 $5275

Bernd-Christoph Kaemper, Stuttgart University Library