QUESTION TEXT: A significant amount of the acquisition budget…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: Publishing a scholarly journal must be more profitable now.
REASONING: Libraries pay more for individual journals, while the costs of publishing journals haven’t increased.
ANALYSIS: This sounds very convincing. But there are at least two possible reasons profits wouldn’t be ‘much’ higher.
- Libraries subscribed to fewer journals once prices went up.
- Libraries are only a small portion of journal subscribers, and prices for other subscribers haven’t changed.
The second option is the right answer. Most subscribers are individuals, and they pay the same price as they did before.
I didn’t think of the second reason before I saw it in the answers. I prephrased the first possibility. Prephrasing is very useful, but keep in mind there may be other options for the correct answer. Don’t get hung up on a single prephrase.
- This explains how universities can afford journals. It doesn’t tell us anything about journal profits.
- This doesn’t matter. The university won’t be using its sports budget to buy journals.
- This tells us what happens if a journal is unprofitable. It doesn’t tell us whether publishing journals is currently profitable.
- CORRECT. This shows that journal prices haven’t increased for most subscribers. Higher library prices surely increased profits, but these higher were only for a small portion of subscribers. The conclusion said that journals must be ‘much more’ profitable.
- This is just a fact about journals. It doesn’t tell us how profitable they are.
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