Journal Costs are Rising...Who is to blame?!

Here is an interesting article from the Tribune Review. The cost of scholarly journals is rising, along with the amount of works being published in them, and libraries can\'t keep up. Some blame the \"Publish or Perish\" syndrome, which may not necessarily produce the best quality of work.\"We\'re trying to take a look at the incentives that drive scholarly publishing,\" said John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities. The incentives should focus more on the quality of the work, the contribution it makes to the discipline, and less on a simple count of the number of publications.\"

\"The Washington, D.C.-based association represents 61 of the most prestigious research universities in North America, including Pitt, Penn State and Carnegie Mellon. The group co-sponsored the Arizona meeting.\"

\"Scholarly publication in America has mushroomed since World War II, when federal support of higher education mushroomed. Government agencies evaluate publications to help decide who should win grants.\"

\"The system enables faculty and students around the world to share knowledge. It prevents researchers from duplicating each other\'s work or following leads disproved by others. It also is a major factor in evaluating, promoting and granting tenure.\"

\"But, increasingly, many universities cannot afford the information their own faculty produces.\"

\"In 1986, the 121 members of the Association of Research Libraries spent an average of $1.5 million on an average of 16,312 journals. Last year, its members spent an average of $4.1 million on an average of 15,259 journals.\"

\"That\'s a 170 percent increase in cost for a 6 percent decrease in publication subscriptions.\"

\"Erickson said universities cannot sustain the current system of scholarly publishing.\"

\"This situation is raising havoc with university library budgets and affecting the ability of scholars, particularly in the humanities, to publish their scholarly monographs.\"

\"Librarians blame many factors for the rising costs. One is the publish-or-perish climate.\"

\"The use of publications for promotion and tenure has caused a proliferation of articles,\" said Nancy Eaton, university librarian at Penn State. \"It encourages producing more than you might otherwise.\"

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