Date of this Version
Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Winter 2008) 9(3). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v09n03/mcguigan_g01.html.
Academic libraries cannot pay the regularly escalating subscription prices for scholarly journals. These libraries face a crisis that has continued for many years revealing a commercial system that supports a business model that has become unsustainable. This paper examines the “serials crisis,” as it has come to be known, and the economics of the academic journal publishing industry. By identifying trends within the industry, an analysis of the industry is undertaken using elements of the five forces framework developed by Michael Porter. Prescriptions are offered concerning what can be done and what should be done to address this problem.