The other side of the picture is whether the market reacts similarly to electroniconly products. Since this question is outside the scope of this paper, I will only generalize here from our experience to date. For the four electronic journals we have started, the average paid circulation to date is approximately 100, with 20 to 40 of those being institutional subscriptions. For the two print journals we started in 1996 (both in the social sciences), the average circulation at the end of their first volumes (1996) was 550, with an average of 475 individuals and 75 institutions.
There appears to be a substantial difference in the readiness of the market to accept electronic-only journals at this point as well as reluctance on the part of the author community to submit material. It is, therefore, more difficult for the publisher to reach break even with only one-fifth of the market willing to purchase, unless subscription prices are increased substantially. Doing this would likely dampen the paid subscriptions even more.