UC reacts to journal price increase

The Nature Publishing Group (NPG) proposes to quadruple the price of a UC license for Nature and its 67 affiliated journals. The magnitude of such a price increase for academic journals is unprecedented and unless the University of California and NPG can reach an acceptable pricing compromise, the UC would have to cancel its subscription to Nature and NPG publications, journals which are among the most prestigious of academic journals.

The executive director of the California Digital Library, along with the chair of the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication of the Academic Senate and the convener of the University Librarians Council have prepared a letter for the UC faculty (PDF) describing this price increase and warning of a potential faculty-led boycott of NPG.

Some facts and information outlined in the letter:

  • In the past six years, UC authors have contributed some 5,300 articles to NPG journals, 638 in the flagship journal Nature.
  • UC author contributions have helped shape the prestige of NPG journals.
  • UC faculty also contribute a significant amount of time serving as reviewers, editors and advisory board members.
  • A fact sheet on UC Libraries Systemwide Journal Subscriptions and a list of NPG journals licensed by UC is also included in the letter.

Update 6/30/10:
The Nature Publishing Group has issued a response to the letter described above, and UC officials have issued a rebuttal.
» Details

Further reading:
» Chronicle of Higher Education (6/8/10) (UC access only)
» The Great Beyond: the Nature blog (6/9/10)
» CDLINFO news (6/9/10)