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Roger Clarke's 'A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing'

A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing
Appendix 5: Association, with Multiple Journals

Version of 24 March 2006

This document is an Appendix to 'A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing'

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This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/JP-CP-AMJ.html


Category Description

This Appendix presents an indicative cost-profile for a particular kind of journal-publisher.

The organisational category addressed here is an Association that publishes multiple journals.

Two primary variants are considered, the conventional hard-copy and the eJournal approach. In either case, the Association conducts its publishing activity primarily as a service to its members, and secondarily for subscribers and (probably on a deferred basis) the general public. The revenue model is based on allocation of a proportion of the membership-fee.

To enable the computation of per-article estimates that are reasonably comparable with those for other categories, each journal is assumed to comprise quarterly Issues, each with 7-8 articles, for a total of 30 articles p.a.


Costs

Within each of the two primary variants of hard-copy or eJournal, a further choice exists:

There are likely to be advantages for all concerned in using common production and distribution infrastructure, including templates, format-conversion tools, cataloguing tools, and the host, web-server and search-engine. Using common resources for the production activities, on the other hand, incurs additional coordination costs, and the net effect may well be cost-neutral.

A conservative approach is to assume that no cost-savings are available, and that the cost-profile for the five-journal association is simply five times that for the single-journal association.

Alternatively, savings can be made, or additional revenues raised. For example, members may receive only one journal as part of their membership fees, and have to pay a supplement for additional journals.

Hence:

TOTAL COSTS for Hard-Copy Journals

EstablishmentNil
Operations – Submission-Related5 journals, each $12,000 p.a., equivalent to $3,000 per Issue or $400 per article
Operations – Article-Related5 journals, each $10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330 per article
Operations – Issue-Related5 journals, each $85,000 p.a., equivalent to $21,250 per Issue or $2,850 per article
Operations – Generic5 journals, each $5,000 p.a., equivalent to $1,250 per Issue or $170 per article
Infrastructure MaintenanceNegligible
FinancialNegligible
TOTAL5 journals, each $112,000 p.a., $28,000 per Issue or $3,750 per article, or $560,000 p.a.

TOTAL COSTS for eJournals

EstablishmentNil
Operations – Submission-Related5 eJournals, each $12,000 p.a., equivalent to $3,000 per Issue or $400

per article

Operations – Article-Related5 eJournals, each $10,000 p.a., equivalent to $2,500 per Issue or $330

per article

Operations – Issue-RelatedNegligible
Operations – GenericNegligible
Infrastructure MaintenanceNegligible
FinancialNegligible
TOTAL5 eJournals, each $22,000 p.a., $5,500 per Issue or $730 per article, or $110,000 p.a.


Business Model

The undertakings are funded from the membership fees paid by Members of the Association, perhaps to some extent offset by non-member subscriptions (particularly libraries and other institutions) and advertising. For an Association of 10,000 Members, the publishing costs of 5 journals are up to about $55 p.a. for hard-copy journals, or $11 for eJournals (of a fee of perhaps $300). A small Association of, say, 250 members would face prohibitive costs of $2,240 per member for 5 hard-copy journals, or $440 per member even for 5 eJournals.



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Created: 31 March 2005 - Last Amended: 24 March 2006 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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