According to Reed Elsevier’s 2009 Annual Report they experienced “robust financial performance in unprecedented global recession.” Greeaat, glad somebody did. The rest of us dealt with budget losses, lay offs, hiring freezes, furloughs, pay cuts or no raises. And Elsevier wonders why some librarians get so angry at their pricing models.
According to page 6 of the report “The Elsevier science and medical business (44% of adjust operating profits) had a relatively robust year. In a challenging academic budget environment, the journal business entered 2009 with good subscription renewals from 2008. In health Sciences, growing online sales in medical reference, clinical decision support and nursing and health professional education were partly held back by weak promotion markets. In the near term academic budgets will remain under pressure and wear working with our academic customers to ensure that their growing information needs and goals for greater research efficiencies are met with the confines of their tighter funding environment.”
We all realize they are a for profit company and they are in business to make a profit. I am all for making a profit. But I kind of feel a little uncomfortable and conflicted, especially when I read the post “Elsevier 2009 $ 2 billion profits could fund worldwide OA at $1,383 per article.”
For the most part I have stayed out of the whole OA debate, there are others on both sides of the issue who are way more informed than I am on the subject. But it would seem that as librarians are struggling to make ends meet with their shrinking budgets, the current method by which Elsevier (or other for profit publishers) price their resources will need to change for so that Elsevier and publishers can still remain profitable. Because if the library doesn’t have the money, they can’t buy any resources.