WSU Libraries

Journal Review

4 things you need to know about journal price inflation

  1. Journal prices increased an average of 8%, mode of 9%, range of 5% and 30% last year*
  2. Journal prices increased an average of 37%, mode of 33%, range of 19% and 70% in the past five years*
  3. Journal price inflation is across the board. Relatively inexpensive journals show similar or greater price inflation than many of the more expensive journals.
  4. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows a much smaller rate of inflation than the rates shown in journal pricing, either in individual years or in a five-year cumulation.

Inflation Chart

Table 3: Cost History Grouped by Library of Congress Subject
Subject Avg No. of Titles 2005– 2009 Avg Cost Per Title 2005 Avg Cost Per Title 2006 % of Cha-
nge ’05– ’06
Avg Cost Per Title 2007 % of Cha-
nge ’06– ’07
Avg Cost Per Title 2008 % of Cha-
nge ’07– ’08
Avge Cost Per Title 2009 % of Cha-
nge ’08– ’09
% of Cha-
nge ’05– ’09
Agriculture 189 $823 $880 7 $948 8 $1,019 7 $1,089 7 32
Anthropology 64 389 408 5 443 8 497 12 543 9 40
Art & Architecture 76 193 208 8 223 7 244 10 259 6 35
Astronomy 27 1,315 1,453 10 1,516 4 1,637 8 1,781 9 35
Biology 269 1,444 1,583 10 1,720 9 1,846 7 1,980 7 37
Botany 67 1,159 1,250 8 1,356 8 1,465 8 1,581 8 36
Business & Economics 453 664 702 6 750 7 808 8 862 7 30
Chemistry 240 2,799 3,017 8 3,241 7 3,458 7 3,690 7 32
Education 131 407 443 9 492 11 542 10 587 8 44
Engineering 354 1,530 1,637 7 1,753 7 1,877 7 2,047 9 34
Food Science 20 1,042 1,127 8 1,180 5 1,278 8 1,390 9 33
General Science 70 870 922 6 1,006 9 1,078 7 1,174 9 35
General Works 78 136 142 5 154 9 167 8 176 5 29
Geography 82 864 920 6 1,001 9 1,091 9 1,145 5 32
Geology 97 1,231 1,298 5 1,397 8 1,516 9 1,632 8 33
Health Sciences 1666 995 1,089 9 1,193 9 1,296 9 1,401 8 41
History 275 183 198 8 217 9 242 12 263 9 44
Language & Literature 346 173 184 6 199 8 221 11 231 5 33
Law 90 223 246 10 273 11 292 7 322 10 44
Library & Information Science 56 404 424 5 454 7 490 8 519 6 28
Math & Computer Science 225 1,165 1,223 5 1,305 7 1,394 7 1,472 6 26
Military & Naval Science 9 571 678 19 696 3 637 -9 679 7 19
Music 53 131 136 4 149 9 172 16 182 6 39
Philosophy & Religion 165 205 220 7 241 10 265 10 281 6 37
Physics 249 2,534 2,697 6 2,928 9 3,096 6 3,252 5 28
Political Science 88 365 402 10 445 11 496 11 539 9 48
Psychology 184 449 486 8 525 8 572 9 628 10 40
Recreation 25 226 241 7 257 6 295 15 383 30 70
Sociology 362 437 472 8 517 10 566 9 615 9 41
Technology 185 1,468 1,572 7 1,682 7 1,817 8 1,950 7 33
Zoology 134 1,039 1,124 8 1,236 10 1,390 12 1,510 9 45
SOURCE: LJ PERIODICALS PRICE SURVEY 2009

Additional materials

* Van Orsdel, L. C., et. al., Reality Bites [Periodicals price survey 2009]. Library Journal (1976) v. 134 no. 7 (April 15 2009) p. 36-40.
** Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers 12-Month Percent Change at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site

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