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

A Cost-Profile of Journal-Publishing
Appendix 1: Unincorporated Mutual, Hard-Copy Journal with Subscription Fee

Version of 24 March 2006

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

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2005-06

Available under an AEShareNet Free
for Education licence or a Creative Commons 'Some
Rights Reserved' licence.

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


Category Description

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

The organisational category addressed here is an Unincorporated Mutual (or an Association that publishes a journal as a separate, financially self-supporting business division), which outsources printing and distribution to a specialist magazine publisher. The revenue model is subscription-based.

It is not an eJournal, but publishes the Contents of its Issues, probably including Abstracts, on its own web-site.

It is assumed to comprise quarterly Issues, each with 5 articles, for a total of 20 articles p.a.


Costs

Untitled Document

Establishment Costs

1

Conception and articulation of the journal's name, scope, philosophy and modus operandiUndertaken by senior academics
2Preliminary negotiations within the intellectual communityUndertaken by senior academics
3Preliminary negotiations with potential providers of operational resourcesUndertaken by senior academics
4Preliminary negotiations with potential providers of infrastructureUndertaken by senior academics
5Acquisition of investment and working capitalUndertaken by senior academics
6Appointment of Board, Editor and Editorial Committee(s)Undertaken by senior academics
7Accumulation of Referees ListUndertaken by senior academics
8Acquisition of infrastructureUndertaken by senior academics, with the Web-site run using gratis, open source tools
9Acquisition of operational resourcesUndertaken by senior academics
10Acquisition of intellectual property (logos, trademarks, copyrights, licences)Undertaken by senior academics
11Preparation of formal components of the printed journal and web-siteUndertaken by senior academics, supported by outsourced service provider
12Preparation of web-siteUndertaken by junior academics or students
13Announcement to the communityUndertaken by senior academics
14Issue of initial calls for papersUndertaken by senior academics

Operations Costs

• Submission-Related

1

Receipt, acknowledgement and management Editor, Editorial Committee and Referees, possibly supported by junior academics or students
2Conduct and management of the assessment processEditor, Editorial Committee and Referees, generally gratis, but possibly with an honorarium for the Editor, and possibly allowances, free advertising or similar partial recompense

• Article-Related

1

Production-editingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, partly by junior academics or students, and partly for-fee by the outsourced service provider
$4,000 p.a., equivalent to $1,000 per Issue (or $200 per article)
2CataloguingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, partly by junior academics or students, and partly for-fee by the outsourced service provider

• Issue-Related

1

EditorialEffort by the Editor
2Production-editingPartly by the Editor or a member of the Editorial Committee, partly by junior academics or students, and partly for-fee by the outsourced service provider, but included above

3ProductionFor hard-copy issues, for-fee by the outsourced service provider
Assuming 300 copies per Issue and $6 per tome, then $7,000 p.a., equivalent to $1,750 per Issue (or $350 per article).
For the Web-site, by the Editor, possibly supported by a junior academic or student
4ProtectionNone
5DistributionFor-fee by the outsourced service provider
Assuming 300 copies per Issue, then $1,000 p.a., equivalent to $250 per Issue (or $50 per article)

• Generic

1

MarketingLimited, undertaken primarily by senior academics, with some for-fee support from the outsourced service provider
$1,000 p.a., equivalent to $250 per Issue (or $50 per article)
2Customer relationship managementFor-fee by the outsourced service provider
$3,000 p.a., equivalent to $750 per Issue (or $150 per article)
3Archive managementDependent on libraries
4IndexingDependent on indexing services
5GovernanceUndertaken by the Editor and Editorial Committee, with for-fee support from the outsourced service provider
$4,000 p.a., equivalent to $1,000 per Issue (or $200 per article)

Infrastructure-Maintenance Costs

1

Editor and Editorial Committee(s)Undertaken by senior academics
2A pool of refereesUndertaken by senior academics
3Communications channelsArranged by senior academics, supported by junior academics or students
4Norms for communications and formattingUndertaken by senior academics
5Production facilitiesIncluded in the fees charged by the outsourced service provider
6Subscription-list facilitiesIncluded in the fees charged by the outsourced service provider
7Distribution mechanismsIncluded in the fees charged by the outsourced service provider

Financial Costs

1

Interest on investment capitalNone
2Interest on working capitalNone

TOTAL COSTS

EstablishmentNil
Operations – Submission-RelatedNil
Operations – Article-Related$4,000 p.a., $1,000 per Issue (or $200 per article)
Operations – Issue-Related$8,000 p.a., $2,000 per Issue (or $400 per article)
Operations – Generic$8,000 p.a., $2,000 per Issue (or $400 per article)
Infrastructure MaintenanceNil
FinancialNil
TOTAL$20,000 p.a., $5,000 per Issue (or $1,000 per article)


Business Model

In order to achieve breakeven on subscriptions alone, and assuming that:

then breakeven requires 50 institutional and 100 individual subscriptions.

If instead, the same operation were conducted using an author-pays open access model, then the indicative cost per published article is $1,000.



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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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