STM Report on Scholarly Journal Publishing

The International Association of Scientific, Technical, andMedical Publishers (STM) — has published, “The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing”, a follow-up to the 2006 report, “Scientific publishing in transition: an overview of current developments”. Funded by STM, and prepared by Mark Ware Consulting and STM, “The STM Report” collects the available evidence, and provides a comprehensive picture of the trends and currents in scholarly communication. It shows that scholarly communications are undergoing profound changes driven by technology and economic factors, while authors’ core motivations to publish remain stable. Annual revenues generated from English-language STM journal publishing are estimated at $8 billion in 2008, up by 6-7% compared to 2007, within a broader STM publishing market worth some $16 billion. About 55% of global STM revenues (including non-journal STM products) come from the USA, 30% from Europe, 10% from Asia/Pacific and 5% from the rest of the world. Continued growth in output, particularly from China and East Asia, will put further pressure on the system, especially when combined with funders’ desire for greater return on research investments and the pressures on researchers to accelerate the research cycle.There are approximately 2000 journal publishers globally, and the main English-language trade and professional associations for journal publishers include 657 publishers producing around 11,550 journals – about 50% of the total journal output by title. Of these, 477 publishers (73%) and 2334 journals (20%) are not-for-profit. There were about 25,400 active scholarly peer-reviewed journals in early 2009, collectively publishing about 1.5 million articles a year. The number of articles published each year and the number of journals have both grown steadily for over two centuries, by about 3% and 3.5% per year respectively. The reason is the equally persistent growth in the number of researchers, which has also grown at about 3% per year and now stands at between 5.5 and 10 million, depending on definition, although only about 20% of these are repeat authors.

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