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Re: University of California Libraries Announce Pursuit of Value-based Journal Prices

Ivy, how would such "value-based pricing" work for smaller journals and particularly journals in the non-sciences, such as many social sciences, humanities, area studies, and the like? Or is the aim of the document to assist in negotiations with the larger STM package suppliers?

Thank you, Ann Okerson/Yale Library

On Thu, 18 Jan 2007, Ivy Anderson wrote:

[This information has been cross-posted to several lists.  Please excuse
any duplication]

Dear Colleagues,

The University of California Libraries are pleased to share a
press release describing our work on "value-based" prices of
scholarly journals.  Please see the complete release (attached
and below) for fuller information.


Ivy Anderson
Director of Collections
California Digital Library


Press Release/Announcement

University of California Libraries Announce Pursuit of Value-based
Journal Prices

January 18, 2007

The University of California libraries are pleased to announce
the availability of a report describing their work on
"value-based" prices of scholarly journals.  Authored by a task
force of the ten-campus library system's Collection Development
Committee, "The Promise of Value-based Journal Prices and
Negotiation: A UC Report and View Forward" is a direct outcome of
the UC libraries' collective strategic priority to advance
economically balanced and sustainable scholarly communication

The report details UC's rationale for value-based journal prices
and modeling of prices for scholarly materials that are
reasonable, transparent, and based upon the value of the material
to the academic mission of the University of California.

The report describes a value-based approach that borrows from
analysis done by Professors Ted Bergstrom (UC Santa Barbara) and
R. Preston McAfee (Caltech) on journal cost-effectiveness
(www.journalprices.com). The UC approach also includes
suggestions for annual price increases that are tied to
production costs; credits for institutionally-based contributions
to the journal, such as editorial labor; and credits for business
transaction efficiencies from consortial purchases.

Through the report the libraries ask how an explicit method can
be established, validated, and communicated for aligning the
purchase or license costs of scholarly journals with the value
they contribute to the academy and the costs to create and
deliver them. In addition to describing the work done to date,
the report provides examples of potential cost savings and
declares UC's intention to pursue value-based prices in their
negotiations with journal publishers.  In addition, the report
invites the academic community to work collectively to refine and
improve these and other value-based approaches.

The Promise of Value-based Journal Prices and Negotiation: A UC
Report and View Forward is available at:


For more information, contact:

John Ober
Director of Policy, Planning, and Outreach
Office of Scholarly Communication
California Digital Library
(510) 987-0174

Julia Kochi
Director, Digital Library & Collections
Library & Center for Knowledge Management
University of California, San Francisco
(415) 502-7539