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    9.5 Traditional model

    First, we ran a series of simulations to determine the subscription price of a traditional-model journal if the following elements were varied: the overhead rate, the profit margin, and the size of the subscription base. We display the results in Table 9.1.

    Table 9.1: Traditional electronic journal model simulations to determine subscription fee if overhead rate, profit margin and subscription base size are varied.
    Overhead rate 120% 60%
    Profit margin 0% 10% 20% 0% 10% 20%
    No. of subscribers Subscription fee ($)
    200 1,062 1,167 1,274 772 849 927
    500 425 467 510 308 340 371
    1,000 212 233 255 154 170 186
    2,000 105 116 127 77 85 93
    20,000 11 11 13 8 8 9

    It is clear from these figures that a journal making a modest profit and recovering full costs can be supplied to users for a modest fee as long as the subscription base consists of at least 500 subscribers. This gives an idea of how inexpensive journals can be without adopting an alternative cost-recovery model. We acknowledge, however, that the journal modelled is slightly smaller than the average scientific journal. Our modelled journal publishes 1,200 article pages per annum whereas an average journal publishes 1,434 article pages per annum (Tenopir and King, 2000, p.237). The effect of this is likely to be negligible.