Why Science Journals Are So Expensive

In 1974, the editorial board of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, at the time and still the world's largest journal of biochemistry, gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate the journal's 25th anniversary at a lavish party hosted by ier-North Holland Biomedical Press. Attending the gathering were such legendary figures in biochemistry as Sir Hans Krebs, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, Fyodor Lynen, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of fatty acid synthetase, Alex Bangham, "inv

Alexander Grimwade
Feb 1, 1999
In 1974, the editorial board of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, at the time and still the world's largest journal of biochemistry, gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate the journal's 25th anniversary at a lavish party hosted by ier-North Holland Biomedical Press. Attending the gathering were such legendary figures in biochemistry as Sir Hans Krebs, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, Fyodor Lynen, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of fatty acid synthetase, Alex Bangham, "inventor" of the liposome, and many others. At that party, E.C. (Bill) Slater, the managing editor of BBA and professor of biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam, gave a speech in which he wittily projected the exponential growth of the journal for the next 25 years, by which time, he estimated, it would be publishing one volume every five minutes, have a subscription price of several millions of dollars, and a staff exceeding 500. While the growth...

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