January 24, 2022

News from UK: RLUK, SCONUL, Jisc and Partners Raise Concerns About Pearson E-Textbook Price Increase

From a Joint News Release (via JISC):

RLUK, SCONUL Jisc and partners have written to publishers Pearson, asking them to take urgent and immediate action to reconsider and reverse their recently announced price increases to e-textbook titles.

These significant and unbudgeted increases, announced suddenly and without consultation, are unacceptable to UK education institutions and their students. We have therefore requested an urgent meeting with Pearson to discuss what can be done to rectify the current situation, to better serve and support the sector going forward.

Main points

  • Price increases of this magnitude (500%) will limit student access to students. The price rise of 500% almost overnight  will result in institutions and their libraries being delayed or unable or delayed in providing to provide Pearson content to support students.
  • Bringing pricing in line with the market rate is unjustified it speaks to imbalance in the marketplace, as outlined in a recently published joint statement (LINK) signed by UK sector partners.
  • The price rise imposed with immediate effect represents a significant and unbudgeted increase.
  • The timing of the price increase is wrong.  As a minimum requirement, we requested that Pearson delay the roll out of price increases, at least until the start of the next academic year 2022-23, while Jisc, Pearson and its customers work together to establish new pricing that is affordable and sustainable in full consultation with the sector.

Direct to Full Letter Sent to Pearson

The Letter Has Been Signed By:

Further Information

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.