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humanities journals cost more

For fuller story, see today's Chronicle of Higher Education at 
http://chronicle.com/daily/2009/07/22265n.htm (should be free to 

A detailed study of the economics of journal publishing in eight 
large learned societies (four humanities, four social sciences) 
is reporting that per-article costs for the flagship journals of 
those societies (including e.g. PMLA and the American Historical 
Review) are substantially higher than for 
science/technical/medical journals.  The National Humanities 
Alliance requested the study, which had funding from the Andrew 
W. Mellon Foundation.

The study shows that average cost/article for the eight journals 
in 2007 was $9994, compared to $2670 for STM journal articles 
analyzed by the same consultant. Various factors contribute to 
the differential, including longer articles, higher rejection 
rates, and more intensive editing. Subscription costs for these 
journals are much lower than for many STM journals because each 
journal publishes fewer articles, among other reasons.  It would 
clearly be impossible to pass such full charges on to authors.

Jim O'Donnell
Georgetown University