Why do scholarly journals cost so much, even with digital publishing?

Resource  Shelf posted a link to an article on the production cost of scholarly journals. I haven't read it yet but I bet it raises issues releavent to ebook production. From the abstract:

Journal literature has long played a prominent role in the scholarly communication chain. In recent decades, however, the scholarly communication system has been facing a crisis due to the ever-escalating costs of journals. This paper examines the reasons for the high costs of scholarly journals. A brief review of literature on journal publishing costs was carried out. The paper focuses on the economics of scholarly English language journals published mainly in the United States and Europe, but which are sold worldwide, largely to academic and research libraries. Two of the features of the journal publishing industry cited a decade ago and still valid today are a “lack of competition” and “perverse incentives.” The “first-copy cost” is reported to be the main reason for high journal prices both in print and electronic publishing.


About Nate Hoffelder (11222 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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