This report describes research undertaken by LISU at Loughborough University on behalf of
Oxford Journals, to investigate trends in the prices of biomedical and social science journals
between 2000 and 2006 for a selection of eight commercial publishers and three university
presses. The methodology used was developed from that used for a previous report (White &
Creaser, 2004). Prices were examined in conjunction with the number of pages and impact
factor of each journal. It is appreciated that these are not the only determinants of journal price,
and that further research may be desirable to investigate the effects of the various pricing
models in use.
The detail of the methodology, in particular the application of the criteria for including titles in the
analysis, differed from that adopted in the 2004 work, as a result of the discussion and comment
which followed its publication. It is therefore not possible to make any detailed comparisons
between the two sets of results, which differ in their detail although not in their overall patterns.
There is little consistent evidence of associations between price, impact factor and number of
pages. Data relating to some publishers for some subject areas show significant correlations,
most frequently between price and number of pages. There are also some significant
associations between price and price per page, and between price and impact factor, but this is
not widespread, and can generally be attributed to a small number of titles with exceptional
Some of the key statistics relating to price and price increases are:
Median journal prices ranged from £198 (Cambridge University Press) to £859 (Elsevier)
Increases in the median journal price between 2000 and 2006 varied from 42% (Oxford
Journals) to 104% (Sage).
Median price per page ranged from 31p (Oxford Journals) to £1.06 (Wiley) in 2006
Increases in the median price per page between 2000 and 2006 varied from 8% (Wiley)
to 75% (Taylor & Francis).
The proportions of titles identified without an impact factor in 2005 varied from 16%
(Elsevier) to 74% (Sage)
Median price per point of impact factor ranged from £186 (Oxford Journals) to £552
(Springer) in 2006
Changes in the median price per point of impact factor between 2000 and 2006 varied
from a fall of 25% (Wiley) to an increase of 79% (Cambridge University Press).
Trends in scholarly journal prices 2000-2006