Introducing Journal Prices

JournalPrices is an academic journal database that was built by Professor Preston McAfee, Distinguished Scientist at Google, and Ted Bergstrom, Distinguished Professor of Economics at UCSB. It studies the relationship between the subscription cost of individual journals and number of citations to the journal, number of articles in the journal and so on, and classifies each journal as good or bad deals.


The dataset contains detailed information (discipline, price per article, price per citation, etc) about around 11,000 journals, and the story behind how the data is collected can be found here. You can access the Jornal Prices tool is now available at Mcafee.cc website where you can search and sort journals based on pricing or other factors. It is widely used by scholars and university libraries now.


For more backgrounds about academic journals, please refer to the below resources:

Some fun facts
  • Average subscription price per article for the for-profits is 3x than that for the non-profits, across disciplines.
  • The world's two most expensive economics journals are NOT the two best journals.
  • There is a striking difference in the amount of money similar universities pay for their journal subscriptions, depending on the bargaining power.
  • Professor Bergstorm's talk: What’s the Big Deal?: Journal Pricing Secrets Exposed - Ted Bergstrom
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