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Scholarly Communication


What the experts and stakeholders say:

What the financial analysts say:

  • Bear Stearns (2003)
    • Science libraries are under funding pressure but they will pay up.
    • Reed Elsevier has around 1500 science journals; each is a mini-monopoly enjoying huge pricing power.
    • Reed Elsevier’s, and other publishers’, profits improve by 16% when a client moves to the online only model.
  • Citigroup Smith Barney (2004)
    • STM publisher price increases are mainly to maintain high profit margins.
  • Credit Suisse (2003)
    • Bundling journals into one contract gains market share.
    • Bundling has the effect of creating higher profit margins on low-quality, low submission journals.
  • Morgan Stanley (2002)
    • Reed Elsevier is the industry leader claiming 23.3% of the market revenue.
    • Reed Elsevier will outperform the market in growth as libraries trim peripheral publishers.
    • Reed Elsevier’s operating margin (percent of revenue as profit) in scientific publishing was calculated to be 36.9% in 2001
  • Outsell (2004)
    • The economics of scholarly publishing are broken and dysfunctional.
    • Powerful publishers are in ongoing struggles with their biggest customers.
    • Open access is just one symptom of the overall disease.
    • There are plenty of opportunities for smart sellers to prosper and smart buyers to get more value.


- Gooden, Paul et al. Reed Elsevier: “The Appliance of Science”. Bear-Stearns. September 29, 2003. 23pp. Summary available at: (1); (2) 
- Mays-Smith, Simon et al. Three Pillars of Wisdom: the STM journal industry. Credit Suisse First Boston. April 6, 2004. 48pp. A synopsis is provided here.
- Open Access Newsletter: Summary of Citicorp November 2, 2004.
- Gooden, Paul, Matthew Owen and Sarah Simon, “Scientific Publishing: Knowledge is Power.” Morgan Stanley. September 30, 2002. 20p
- Healy, Leigh Watson et al. “Competitor Assessment: STM – Revolution in the land of the giants.” Outsell, January 30, 2004. 36pp. Abstracts are available at: (1) and (2).


For additional information please contact Kimberly Douglas, University Librarian, at kdouglas AT library.caltech.edu.

Last updated: June 12, 2009 12:07 .