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Prices of Biological Books in 1934

    Naturevolume 135page991 (1935) | Download Citation



    THE analysis of the cost of biological books in 1934, by John R. Miner (Quart. Rev. BioL, Dec. 1934, p. 496), illustrates the significance of the devaluation of the dollar in affecting relative prices of American and foreign books. The estimates of cost are worked out in cents per page, the price of a foreign book being converted at the current rate of exchange, and the total number of pages upon which the calculations are based is 123,876. The only country in which prices have fallen is U.S.A. where (at 0·93 cents a page) there has been a drop of almost 9 per cent compared with 1933 prices. British Government publications have dropped from 1·39 to 0·89 cents a page and are now the cheapest of the lot apart from U.S. Government publications, which are issued at the amazingly low price of 0·18 cents a page; but the British Government sample was too small to be reliable. British books, on the other hand, have risen in terms of dollars by 45·5 per cent, French by 35 and German by 32. As to relative prices, British books now slightly exceed in price American books (0-96 against 0-93), France stands at 1·00 and Germany at 1·89 cents a page. As was noted in the report for 1933, the high prices of German scientific books and periodicals have proved a hardship to libraries and individual workers, and although as the result of a conference with German publishers some reductions in the prices of scientific periodicals have been made, evidently these reductions do not extend to scientific books.

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