This document contains a detailed description of the way that we calculated statistics reported on journalprices.com. The database may be updated at any time with revisions or corrections. Please contact the website owner with any questions.
This edition of journalprices.com is based on prices for
institutional subscriptions for the year 2013 and on citations
article counts for the years 2007-2011 as reported by the ISI
Citation Reports. We have included
all journals from which the ISI Web of Science publishes
counts and for which we were able to find prices. Our database
expands as the ISI continues to expand as the ISI increases the
number of journals that it covers. This edition includes
10,100 journals as compared to 9,456 journals in the 2011
edition and 8,422 journals in 2010 edition. For
newly added journals,
the ISI records only citations since they were added. For
journals, citation and article counts arfe
Occasionally journals change names and/or ISSN numbers. For
journals citation counts also may be underestimated.
The prices listed in this edition of journalprices.com are 2011
institutional subscription prices for the online edition if an
edition exists. If no online edition exists or no separate price
recorded for online only, we record the price of a print
The citation and article counts are for the years
reported by the ISI Journal Citation Reports. Some
journals have tiered
pricing structures in which the subscription price depends on the size and nature of the institution to which it is sold. In these cases, we record the price charged to large research universities located on a single campus.
Title: The journal title is retrieved from the publisher's price list and from the JCR database.
ISSN: The International Standard Serial Number is retrieved from the JCR database. For journals that have a print edition, we use the print ISSN. For journals that do not have a print ISSN, but do have an electronic ISSN, we use the electronic ISSN.
Publisher: The journal publisher is retrieved from the JCR database and checked against publisher-supplied listings and web sites.
Subject: The subject of the journal is one or more of the following list: Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Engineering, Geology, History, Humanities, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, Psychology, Social Science, and Miscellaneous (Nocat). Our categorization is coarser than the categorization provided by the JCR. Some journals labeled Nocat in the JCR database were re-categorized by hand when it was clear where they belonged.
Year First Published: This is the year in which the journal was first published. It is retrieved from a variety of sources.
Price Per Article: The JCR database records the total number of articles published by each journal in the five years 2007-2011 (the most recent years with data available) . The price per article is simply the price of this journal for a year's subscription to an academic library (see below under "Calculation of Price" for details) divided by the average number of articles published per year.
Price Per Citation: From the JCR database, we obtain a "recent citation rate", for each journal in 2009. This is the number of times that volumes of a journal published in the years 2004-2009 were cited in 2009 by ISI-listed journals, divided by 5. The price per citation is the price of this journal for a year's subscription to an academic library (see below under "Calculation of Price" for details) divided by the recent citation rate.
Composite Price Index: The Composite Price Index (CPI) is the geometric mean of the Price Per Article and the Price Per Citation.
Profit Status: The profit status of the owner of a journal. In many cases, a journal owned by a non-profit organization will contract with a for-profit publisher to handle publication and fulfillment while the society generally retains control of pricing. The major commercial publishers have consistently declined to provide us with information about which of the journals they publish are owned by the publishers and which are published for non-profit societies. We have learned the ownership status of a large number of journals published by major commercial publishers by means of direct inquiries to editors, examination of journal web pages, and examination of copyright ownership notices in the journals. We have no doubt failed to discover all cases of non-profit ownership of journals published by commercial publishers and would be grateful for information about those we have missed. In a few cases we have not been able to determine the profit status of small publishers. These we have labeled profit-status "unknown." In calculating averages, these journals have been included with the journals labeled as “for-profit.”
Relative Price Index: The relative price index (RPI) for a
is calculated by dividing its CPI by the median
CPI of those non-profit journals in its
subject category that have positive subscription
prices. Journals that have multiple subject listings are
factored into the average CPI for each field that they belong
to. In previous editions, we calculated a
journal's RPI by dividing its CPI by the median CPI of
all non-profit journals in its subject category including
those that were freely available
online at zero subscription cost. With rapid growth in the number of ``open access'' journals, many of which are supported either by author fees or by government subsidies, we decided that a more appropriate yardstick for costs would be
the average subscription prices of non-profit journals that charge for subscriptions.
Value: The value category is a broad categorization of a
"high value" "low value" or intermediate. A journal with an
than 1.15 is classified as "good value", more than 1.75 as
and everything else as "medium". Because
the current edition does not include zero-cost journals in its calculation of the average costs per citation or per article of non-profit journals, the calculated RPI's for all journals fell substantially. To compensate for this change, we reduced the
cutoff between "high value" and "medium value" from an RPI of 1.25 in the previous edition to an RPI of 1.15 in this edition and the cutoff between "medium value" and "low value" from 2.0 in the previous edition to 1.75 in this edition.
When possible, we have obtained subscription prices for the 2013 edition of the journals charged to academic libraries located in the United States. (Prices quoted only in foreign currencies are converted to United States Dollars using the Currency Converter at current exchange rates.) The prices of most journals were retrieved from publisher's price lists, journal web sites and direct correspondence with journal editors and publishers. We found some prices for which other methods failed, by referring to Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. If we could not find the 2013 price, but had either the 2012 price or the 2014 price, we used that price. Whenever available, we used the price of an institutional “online only” subscription. If institutional online-only subscriptions were not available, but a “print-plus-online” edition was available, we used that. If institutional online subscriptions are not available in any form, we used the price of the print edition. For journals that are priced with a “tiered structure”, we used the price charged to large, single-campus universities with enrollment of 25,000 or larger.
The current edition is the sixth edition of journalprices.com
first edition of journalprices.com was posted in November
2005. It used
prices for the year 2004 and article and citation information
years 1998-2002. The second edition was posted in 2007 and
subscription prices and citations in 2005 to articles
published in the
years 2000-2004. The third edition was posted in December 2008
prices for 2008 and citations in 2007 to articles published in
years 2002-2006. The fourth edition was posted in September
used 2009 subscription prices and citations in 2008 to
published in the years 2003-2007. The fifth was posted
2011 and uses prices for 2010 and citations in 2009 to
published in 2004-2008.
For the first edition, we used an alternative ISI-published
database, "Journal Performance Indicators" rather than
Citations Reports" which we have used in later editions. The
we used in the first edition, reports recent citations in a
way from the JCR. The "recent citations" data from the JPI
includes all citations regardless of the year in which the
occurred to articles written in the interval 1998-2002.
citations" as reported by the JCR include only those citations
articles published in the most recent 5 years and cited in the
year. The JCR-based count of recent citations is therefore
smaller than the count of recent citations calculated by the
method. Consequently, our costs per citation are
in later editions than in the first edition.
Unfortunately, while there is a JCR for Science and for Social Science, there is not one for the Humanities. Thus we are forced to exclude some humanities journals that were included in our JPI based report.
In recent years, there have been many mergers and acquisitions by large commercial publishers. In previous editions, we followed the practice of the ISI in listing publications of publishers that were purchased by larger publishers under the name of their old publishers. In the fifth and sixth editions, we try to list such journals as owned and published by the large publisher that purchased them.
We will update this database from time to time, making revisions and corrections that are pointed out to us. Please contact the website owner with any questions or proposed corrections.