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    Descriptive Statistics

    Using the ISI-defined biomedical portfolio and the corresponding library holdings, I calculate the actual size of various commercial publishers' journal portfolios as well as the number of titles subscribed to by the libraries in the sample (see Table 11.1)

    Table 11.1: ISI-Ranked Medical Titles from Major Commercial Publishers, 1998.
    # of titles published # of subscribed ISI titles** %
    Blackwell 112 99 0.88
    Churchill-Livingstone 17 12 0.71
    Elsevier 262 225 0.86
    Harcourt 118 109 0.92
    Karger 45 39 0.87
    Mosby 27 25 0.93
    Plenum 22 20 0.91
    Springer 99 87 0.88
    Taylor 19 16 0.84
    Thomson 41 36 0.88
    Waverly 37 35 0.95
    Wiley 78 70 0.90
    Wolters-Kluwer 112 98 0.88
    Totals 989 871 0.88
    *Major firms are those with at least 10 ISI-ranked biomedical journals.
    **Subscribed data based on holdings for 194 medical libraries, during 1988-98 period.

    It is clear from this table that significant variation in portfolio size exists in the industry. Note that, based on the ISI numbers, the proposed 1998 merger between Reed/Elsevier, Wolters/Kluwer and Thomson would have affected about 42% of the biomedical titles owned by large commercial publishers.

    In Table 11.2, I present information on average price, citations, cost per use (price/citation), and number of papers published for each publisher in the years 1988 and 1998.

    Though prices, citations and paper counts generally increased during the period, the rate of change for prices was far more striking, resulting in higher cost/use numbers by the end of the period. For example, Elsevier's average journal price more than tripled during the period, while the corresponding citation and paper counts increased less than 25%.

    I provide average circulation rates for titles by publisher in 1988 and 1998 in Table 11.3.[16] Given that nominal prices increased dramatically over the sample period, the apparent inelasticity of demand indicated by these numbers is notable. It suggests that library serials budgets increased sufficiently during the period to absorb most of the price increases.

    Table 11.2: Selected Descriptive Stats, Avg. Values by Publisher
    1988 1998
    Price ($) Cites Cost per Use Papers Price ($) Cites Cost per Use Papers
    Blackwell 193 1575 0.40 123 508 2652 0.55 156
    Churchill-Livingstone 183 1726 0.26 103 721 2821 0.62 146
    Elsevier 482 3477 0.36 179 1548 4222 0.78 204
    Harcourt 209 3713 0.18 164 518 5294 0.34 171
    Karger 321 893 0.59 86 711 935 1.01 79
    Mosby 100 4071 0.07 248 241 5369 0.15 269
    Plenum 233 1352 0.25 92 759 1733 1.86 121
    Springer 481 2268 0.44 141 1057 2386 0.84 153
    Taylor 259 759 0.48 74 658 572 1.67 55
    Thomson 207 1210 0.46 92 733 2788 0.45 140
    Waverly 119 3171 0.10 188 277 5770 0.16 237
    Wiley 333 2205 0.38 128 1409 3338 1.10 145
    Wolters-Kluwer 176 2535 0.19 154 504 3519 0.52 153
    Unweighted Averages 253 2227 0.32 136 742 3184 0.77 156
    NOTE: Numbers based on journals that commenced publication prior to 1989 and had >= 100 cites in 1988 or 1998.
    Cost per use ($/cite) is the average value of price/cites where the latter quantity is first calculated for each individual journal before averaging.
    Table 11.3: Avg. Circulation for ISI-Ranked Journals by Publisher
    1988 (# subscribers) 1998 (# subscribers)
    Blackwell 31.72 30.16
    Churchill- Livingstone 34.00 31.20
    Elsevier 30.08 27.92
    Harcourt 50.51 53.23
    Karger 28.81 22.77
    Mosby 94.50 96.55
    Plenum 27.61 22.89
    Springer 21.60 19.03
    Taylor 11.67 12.08
    Thomson 13.50 19.42
    Waverly 61.67 63.41
    Wiley 24.41 23.51
    Wolters-Kluwer 41.62 42.28
    Unweighted Avgs 36.28 35.73
    NOTE: All numbers based on holdings for 194 medical libraries, during 1988-98 period. All titles commenced publication prior to 1989.