Figure 14.1

Number of abstracts of papers in Chemical Abstracts, 1907 to 1996 by decade.

pattern through the years, including the most recent decade, 1987 to 1996. Chemistry, a relatively mature science, is probably reasonably representative of the growth of STM publishing in general.

To remain competitive, publishers publish more material by introducing new journal titles in response to emerging fields and publish more papers in existing titles.2 Figure 14.2 shows the growth in the ACS journal-publishing program from 1980 through 1997, in terms of both articles and pages published per year. During this 17-year period, the number of articles grew 114 percent and the number of pages published increased by 229 percent; this is an average annual growth rate of 6.71 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively.

This exponential growth of STM literature is exacerbated by the increase in article length. For ACS journals, the average article has grown from 5.39 pages/article in 1980 to 7.30 pages/article in 1997 (see Figure 14.3). The decrease in article length from 7.34 pages/article in 1995 to 7.26 pages/article in 1996 is the result of a concerted effort made by ACS editors to encourage authors to reduce the length of their manuscripts. Unfortunately, at this rime there is no indication that the exponential growth of the STM literature is slowing.

Many subscribers object to subscription prices rising faster than the rate of monetary inflation, ignoring "page inflation" in most titles brought about by the increasing number of manuscript submissions and growth in manuscript length. This situation provides a significant marketing challenge for all

2  

The development of new scientific fields and increasing specialization also contribute to the development of new journal titles.



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