Evaluating big deal journal bundles

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 1;111(26):9425-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1403006111. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


Large commercial publishers sell bundled online subscriptions to their entire list of academic journals at prices significantly lower than the sum of their á la carte prices. Bundle prices differ drastically between institutions, but they are not publicly posted. The data that we have collected enable us to compare the bundle prices charged by commercial publishers with those of nonprofit societies and to examine the types of price discrimination practiced by commercial and nonprofit journal publishers. This information is of interest to economists who study monopolist pricing, librarians interested in making efficient use of library budgets, and scholars who are interested in the availability of the work that they publish.

Keywords: all-or-nothing price; bargaining; efficiency; information technology; monopoly.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Libraries, Medical / economics*
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / economics
  • Periodicals as Topic / economics*
  • United States
  • Universities / economics*