This report represents the first comprehensive study of journal pricing in agriculture and biology. A total of 314 journals was surveyed. The study's purpose was to investigate recent changes (1988 vs. 1994) in journal prices including publisher types: universities, commercial firms, governments (including the United Nations), and professional societies and associations. The study was conducted under the supervision of a group of faculty in agriculture and biology at Cornell University. The analysis was carried out by Wallace C. Olsen, Senior Research Associate, and the Collection Development staff at the Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell. Statistical analyses were performed by Professor Susan Holmes and Owen Chang of the Biometrics Unit, Cornell University, and by William H. Walters, bibliographer and data librarian at Mann Library. In addition, the Mann Library Advisory Committee provided helpful criticisms and comments. The primary method used to conduct this study involved electronic scanning and optical character recognition to determine word and character counts per page, as detailed in the attached report (p. 2). In every case, the data were sent to the relevant publisher for their examination; 80% of them responded with verifications, corrections, and comments.

The Executive Summary reviews the main points of the study, including coverage, methodology, conclusions, and recommendations. The full study is given in the main report and the journal-by-journal data can be found in the supplementary tables.

The Faculty Taskforce wishes to thank the Cornell Administration for funding the staff work on this project, in particular David H. Call and Daryl B. Lund, past and present deans of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Norman R. Scott, former Vice President for Research. We also acknowledge the aid of W. Ronnie Coffman, Brian Chabot, and Robert Cooke, all professors of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell. In particular, we wish to acknowledge our debt to the staff of Mann Library: Jan Olsen and Janet McCue, past and present directors, and Sam Demas, and William Walters. Above all, we acknowledge Wally Olsen for his supervision of this project, his involvement in writing the final report, and for his unfailing good advice. We are greatly in his debt.


The Faculty Taskforce on Journal Price Study
Martin Alexander (Soil, Crop and Atmospheric Science)
Gerald F. Combs (Nutritional Sciences)
Nelson Hairston (Ecology and Systematics)
Harold Hintz (Animal Science)
Kenneth Horst (Plant Pathology)
Betty Lewis (Nutritional Sciences)
Donald Rutz (Entomology)
Chris Wien (Fruit and Vegetable Science)
Kraig Adler (Neurobiology and Behavior), Chair

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  • Journal Price Study -Core Agricultural and Biological Journals 

    Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University (Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University, 1998)
    This report represents the first comprehensive study of journal pricing in agriculture and biology. A total of 314 journals was surveyed. The study's purpose was to investigate recent changes (1988 vs. 1994) in journal ...

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