The Society takes care to maintain reasonable and ethical pricing, including free online access for LMS members and for institutions in developing countries.
Base subscription prices (often called ‘list prices’) of individual journals are decided each year by the LMS Publications Committee based on a balance of criteria including:
- the volume of content published (excluding paid open access content)
- an assessment of the academic standing of the journal
- measures of inflation
- the extent of online content available free with a subscription, and the citation life of such content
- competitive considerations
- indirect costs associated with the running of a publishing operation
In order to sustain in real terms the funding of the Society’s charitable activities, in cases where other indicators are equal the LMS will normally only increase the base journal subscription prices in line with inflation.
Note that base subscription prices only directly apply to institutions that subscribe on their own to a single journal for a specific volume year, in contrast with collections of journals or multi-year licences. Institutions that receive online access via a collection or a multi-year licence will typically receive a discount which is large or small depending on a variety of factors including the size of the journal collection, the number of years the licence is valid, membership of a group of academic institutions or libraries subscribing collectively, the geographical location of the subscribing institution or group, and whether open access charges are pre-paid as part of the subscription.
The Society endeavours to continue to improve its analysis and monitoring to ensure that its base journal subscription prices are set in a fair and transparent manner.