Price development in important anesthesia and critical care medicine journals in comparison to journals of other disciplines
In today’s climate of financial restrictions, libraries and individual subscribers complain about the price increase of scientific journals. The development in prices of anesthesia/critical care journals was analysed over the past 6 years and compared to prices of some journals of other disciplines. Methods:
Important journals in the categories Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine & Critical Care, Surgery, Medicine (General), and Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems listed in the 1999 Science Citation Index of Journal Citation Report were included and prices for the years 1995 to 2000 were analysed. Results:
Increase in prices ranged from +13% to +199%. The mean increase in journal prices was lowest in the category Anesthesiology (+61%), higher in the category Critical Care (+73%), and highest in the category Medicine, General (+101%). Changes in the impact factor (IF) varied widely, ranging from a decrease (Lancet: −43%; J Neurosurg Anesth: −44%) to a tremendous increase (e.g. Reg Anesth +165%; Ann Emerg Med +149%). The journals’ size (number of articles or pages) did not increase proportionally with the increase in prices. Conclusion:
A disproportionate rise in journal prices was seen over the past 6 years. The large increase in cost may have multiple reasons. The rapidly increasing cost of research journals may affect research quality because economic pressure may result in reduction in availibility of information due to cancellation of subscriptions to journals.