Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Academic journal publishing trends

A recent report by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers on trends in academic journals revealed these key findings:

* Publishers continue to make more content available online – 90% of journals are now online, compared with 75% in 2003.
* The number of journals continues to grow. 174 publishers have launched 1,048 new journal titles in the five years to 2005, averaging 6.02 per publisher, while they discontinued 185 titles, averaging 1.06 each.
* The availability of back issues online has increased by 5% to 91% in 2005. Many publishers have digitised back to Volume 1 Issue 1; 47 offer online access to pre-1990 content. Continuing access to previously subscribed volumes is provided by about 60%. Access to journal back volumes is becoming an integral part of the online product; 63% of publishers provide active subscribers with access at no extra cost.
* About a fifth of publishers are experimenting with open access journals.
* Online article submission and peer review processes have been widely adopted in the last five years.
* Almost all publishers offer more content to more users via bundling and/or consortia deals; pricing models vary considerably; and many smaller publishers are now included in multi-publisher packages such as the ALPSP Learned Journals Collection.
* All categories of publishers are now extending usage rights to be ‘library friendly’.
* Although most publishers still require journal authors to assign copyright, the proportion willing to accept a licence to publish has grown significantly in the past two years.

An excutive summary of the report will be found at http://www.alpsp.org/publications/SPP2summary.pdf