The CBC has posted an article about the recent PLoS study on the marketplace dominance of a few large scholarly publishing companies. The article is a readable account of the some of the financial difficulties posed by this model.
Some interesting points:
-The University of Montreal (home institution of the authors of the study) currently pays 7 million dollars a year for journal subscriptions
-Profit margins of large scholarly publishing houses are typically around 40%
-These profits margins are so high, in part, because (as anyone who has published a peer-reviewed article knows) researchers (and peer reviewers) don’t receive direct financial compensation for their work.