This article explores recent developments in the production and delivery of scholarly journal articles in digital form. It identifies the key stakeholders as authors, publishers, librarians and end users. It explores their concerns with regard to the digital journal production and delivery chain. It also explores the interrelationships of different stakeholder groups and considers how their concerns accord or conflict. The paper goes on to review cost and pricing developments. There appears to be no relationship between production costs and subscription prices of scholarly journals. Journals are priced according to what the market will bear, but, at the same time, the market is inelastic. As a result, prices have consistently increased annually at a rate well above the general inflation rate for the last two decades. Digital publishing by publishers has done nothing to relieve this problem. The ‘serials crisis’ has been the impetus for a number of developments that aim to use digital technology to reduce costs for the HE sector. These include alternative models of journal production such as that proposed by Harnad, and initiatives that aim to influence the structure of the market for scholarly journals with a view to driving prices down such as SPARC and HighWire Press. These developments are reviewed.
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