Managing STM Journals: Trends in Commercial Revenues
Publication Date: June 2005
Author: Morna Conway, Ph.D.
Commercial revenues are an important component of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) journal income. There are several sources of commercial revenue, including advertising sales (print, online and digital), commercial reprints (i.e., reprints of articles purchased in bulk by a company), and sponsored supplements. Regardless of the distribution method, commercial organizations are primarily interested in how they can best influence the audiences for their products. While technology opens new doors to reach the audience, the basic premise of all commercial revenue generation remains the effectiveness and efficiency with which a company can reach its audience. Technological change has created new opportunities for reaching a market — but that is relevant only to the extent that the company has products for the market and that the medium — the journal — can effectively deliver the audience for that product. As journals have moved into online distribution and dissemination, publishers have looked forward to generating new commercial revenues from online sources. This paper updates trends and discusses strategies for increasing commercial revenues.