Scientific American price up 650%

Librarians across the country have expressed concern and even outrage at the impending increase in subscription price of the popular journal Scientific American. While a personal subscription will remain $39 per year, the cost for just one print subscription for college and university libraries will rise from $39 to $300 on January 1. The increase was announced shortly after Scientific American was bought by the Nature Publishing Group. Many librarians and faculty see this as an egregious example of predatory pricing strategies adopted by for-profit publishers who re-sell research results generated by colleges and universities. In this case, NPG is attempting to raise the price of a rather slim general interest magazine to the level of more scholarly journals publishing original research. Libraries from Penn State to Oberlin College to the University of Maryland Baltimore County are canceling their print subscriptions in protest of NPG’s effort and to save precious subscription dollars. Across all Temple University Libraries we have had five (5) print subscriptions to Scientific American as well as a university wide electronic subscription, but like other institutions we plan now to drop most existing print subscriptions in protest and to spare our subscription budget the impact of such an increase. We will retain -– at least for a year — the print subscription in Paley Library although it appears to have been read less than a dozen times last year according to our reshelving data. Those concerned at such predatory pricing might consider emailing the editors of Scientific American.

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