Basis for the estimate of $26 to keep one year of an average journal on the Web for 1 year.

T. J. Walker, July 1998

Cost of Web server space estimated at $0.35/MB/year

In Dec 1997, J. L. Corey, Director of the Florida Center of Library Automation, provided these estimates of costs, which are based on current costs at FCLA for making about 500,000 MB of information Web-accessible:

For two reasons these estimates are probably high relative to what future costs will be: (1) As the amount of information made accessible increases, the personnel costs per MB should decrease. (2) The costs of hardware to make information Web-accessible has been steadily decreasing and seems likely to continue to do so.

PDF files for 1 year of average journal estimated to be 74 MB

According to Tenopir and King (1997), the average U.S. scholarly science journal in 1995 had 123 articles and 1723 pages. (Only 1434 of these pages were “article pages”, but to be safe, I used 14 rather than 12 pages for mean article length.)

An average 14-page article produces a PDF file of about 0.6 MB. [I downloaded the PDF files of three 7-page articles in the 5 Dec 1997 issue of Journal of Biological Chemistry ( Their sizes were 232, 442, and 234 KB (mean=303). Assuming that a 14-page article makes a PDF file twice as large as a 7-page article, I arrived at 0.6 MB.

123 articles x 0.6 MB= 74 MB for 1 year of an average journal

Thus, $0.35 x 74 MB = $25.90 = ca. $26


Tenopir, C., and D. W. King. 1997. Trends in scientific scholarly journal publishing in the United States. J. Scholarly Pub. 28 (3): 135-170.