Periodical Price Survey 2015

Each year in April Library Journal publishes a study of the cost of periodicals indexed in the Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI) various citation indexes. The journals covered in the study represent journals generally acquired by large research libraries. Librarians watch this study each year in order to note trends in journals pricing and to predict prices for the next year. In addition to many other disciplines, the April 2015 study included an average of 1,290 titles published in the health sciences throughout the world and detailed subscription costs for years 2013-2015. In 2015, the average cost of journals in the Library of Congress health sciences classification was $1,694, a 7% increase over the average cost of $1,585 in 2014. From 2013 to 2015, the average cost of a health sciences journal increased an average of 7% from $1,488 in 2013 to $1,694 in 2015. The study estimates that barring any major upheaval in the world economy, periodical prices are likely to rise 6.2% in 2016.

The article also discussed other factors affecting the journals subscription market this year. Library budgets have not fully recovered from the economic downturn of 2008, and are further affected by subscription costs that rise higher than the Consumer Price Index. Average prices for STM journals remain the highest among academic disciplines with chemistry journals costing the most. “Big Deal” bundled publisher packages continue to dominate academic licensing of e-journal content, however, there is some movement among libraries to “unbundle” journal packages from large commercial publishers. Subscriptions to print journals are declining with electronic versions of journals being the preferred method of access. Open access continues to develop but some analysts believe that open access may no longer be a pressure point on commercial publishing. The complete Library Journal article can be accessed at:

For information about the UTHSCSA Library’s journal collection, contact John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,