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Collection sales: good or bad for journals?


  • Armstrong, Mark


This note discusses the impact of collection sales (i.e., the bundling of several journals for sale by publishers to libraries) on journals. The advent of electronic journal distribution implies that bundling is an efficient sales strategy, and can act to extend the reach of a journal. Current arrangements are discussed and shown to lead to tensions between commercial publishers and non-profit journals. The note argues that non-profit journals should not abandon their participation in collection sales programmes. Rather, non-profit journals may benefit from withdrawing from commercial publishers which distribute their own for-profit journals, and from joining together to be distributed by less commercial publishers who set relatively low prices for their collections.

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  • Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Collection sales: good or bad for journals?," MPRA Paper 8619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8619

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labour for Costly Journals?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
    2. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers, 2007. "Pricing of Scientific Journals and Market Power," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 400-410, 04-05.
    3. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2006. "Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1038-1083, September.
    4. Armstrong, Mark, 2006. "Price discrimination," MPRA Paper 4693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(12), pages 1613-1630, December.
    6. Mark Armstrong, 1999. "Price Discrimination by a Many-Product Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 151-168.
    7. McCabe Mark J & Snyder Christopher M., 2007. "Academic Journal Prices in a Digital Age: A Two-Sided Market Model," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-39, January.
    8. Aviv Nevo & Daniel L. Rubinfeld & Mark McCabe, 2005. "Academic Journal Pricing and the Demand of Libraries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 447-452, May.
    9. Victor Ginsburgh & Israel Zang, 2007. "Bundling by Competitors and the Sharing of Profits," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(16), pages 1-9.
    10. repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2000. "Bundling and Competition on the Internet," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(1), pages 63-82, May.
    12. Mark J. McCabe & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "Open Access and Academic Journal Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 453-459, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Doh-Shin Jeon & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2010. "The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 222-255, May.
    2. Matteo Migheli & Giovanni B. Ramello, 2014. "Open Access Journals & Academics’ Behaviour," ICER Working Papers 03-2014, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    3. Mark Armstrong, 2016. "Nonlinear Pricing," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 583-614, October.
    4. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:1:p:105-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ryoko Oki, 2015. "Fixed-fee Pricing and Entry," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 233-240.
    6. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "The Benefits of Diverse Preferences in Library Consortia," TSE Working Papers 13-425, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Dec 2015.
    7. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "When Is Building a Library Consortium Bene ficial?," IDEI Working Papers 791, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 07 Apr 2014.

    More about this item


    Journal pricing; bundling; price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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