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A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university

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A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2017, 01:57
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66% (02:03) correct 34% (02:20) wrong based on 419 sessions

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Project CR Butler:Day 56:Critical Reasoning (CR2)


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A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university library is spent on subscriptions to scholarly journals. Over the last several years, the average subscription rate a library pays for such a journal has increased dramatically, even though the costs of publishing a scholarly journal have remained fairly constant. Obviously, then, in most cases publishing a scholarly journal must be much more profitable now than it was several years ago.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) Many university libraries have begun to charge higher and higher fines for overdue books and periodicals as a way of passing on increased journal subscription costs to library users.
(B) A university library's acquisition budget usually represents only a small fraction of its total operating budget.
(C) Publishing a scholarly journal is an expensive enterprise, and publishers of such journals cannot survive financially if they consistently lose money.
(D) Most subscribers to scholarly journals are individuals, not libraries, and the subscription rates for individuals have generally remained unchanged for the past several years.
(E) The majority of scholarly journals are published no more than four times a year.

Source: LSAT

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Re: A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 05:36
Akela wrote:

Project CR Butler:Day 56:Critical Reasoning (CR2)


For all CR butler Questions Click Here

A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university library is spent on subscriptions to scholarly journals. Over the last several years, the average subscription rate a library pays for such a journal has increased dramatically, even though the costs of publishing a scholarly journal have remained fairly constant. Obviously, then, in most cases publishing a scholarly journal must be much more profitable now than it was several years ago.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) Many university libraries have begun to charge higher and higher fines for overdue books and periodicals as a way of passing on increased journal subscription costs to library users.
(B) A university library's acquisition budget usually represents only a small fraction of its total operating budget.
(C) Publishing a scholarly journal is an expensive enterprise, and publishers of such journals cannot survive financially if they consistently lose money.
(D) Most subscribers to scholarly journals are individuals, not libraries, and the subscription rates for individuals have generally remained unchanged for the past several years.
(E) The majority of scholarly journals are published no more than four times a year.

Source: LSAT


A significant amount of the acquisition budget of library is spent on subscriptions to scholarly journals.
Over the last several years, the average subscription rate a library pays for such a journal has increased dramatically,
Costs of publishing a scholarly journal have remained fairly constant.

Conclusion: In most cases publishing a scholarly journal must be much more profitable now than it was several years ago

The argument says that costs of publishing have remained same but subscription rate has increased dramatically. So the argument is concluding that publishing a journal must be more profitable now. We need to weaken this:

(A) Many university libraries have begun to charge higher and higher fines for overdue books and periodicals as a way of passing on increased journal subscription costs to library users.

Irrelevant how the library pays higher subscription. We need to focus on costs and revenues of journals.

(B) A university library's acquisition budget usually represents only a small fraction of its total operating budget.

Again, a library's budget is irrelevant to us. We need to focus on costs and revenues of journals.

(C) Publishing a scholarly journal is an expensive enterprise, and publishers of such journals cannot survive financially if they consistently lose money.

We know that costs have remained same and subscription rate has increased. How much exactly is the cost is irrelevant.

(D) Most subscribers to scholarly journals are individuals, not libraries, and the subscription rates for individuals have generally remained unchanged for the past several years.

Correct. So the cost has remained the same but it seems that the revenues haven't increased much either. If most subscriptions are of individuals and their rate has remained same, the overall revenue may not have increased much either. Hence the profits may not be much more now.

(E) The majority of scholarly journals are published no more than four times a year.

No of times they are published is irrelevant. Fewer publications means less cost too.

Answer (D)
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Re: A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2017, 15:49
Akela wrote:
A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university library is spent on subscriptions to scholarly journals. Over the last several years, the average subscription rate a library pays for such a journal has increased dramatically, even though the costs of publishing a scholarly journal have remained fairly constant. Obviously, then, in most cases publishing a scholarly journal must be much more profitable now than it was several years ago.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) Many university libraries have begun to charge higher and higher fines for overdue books and periodicals as a way of passing on increased journal subscription costs to library users.
(B) A university library's acquisition budget usually represents only a small fraction of its total operating budget.
(C) Publishing a scholarly journal is an expensive enterprise, and publishers of such journals cannot survive financially if they consistently lose money.
(D) Most subscribers to scholarly journals are individuals, not libraries, and the subscription rates for individuals have generally remained unchanged for the past several years.
(E) The majority of scholarly journals are published no more than four times a year.

Source: LSAT


It should be D

Conclusion: Publishing a scholarly journal must be much more profitable now.

(A) Out of scope/unrelated.
(B) Facts: It is a significant percentage of the acquisition budget, and a small fraction of the operating budget. However we do not know for sure how significant its impact could be for the publishing companies.
(C) This is common wisdom and not specifically targeting the conclusion. Nothing in the argument says publishers of scholarly journal are losing money.
(D) If most of the subscribers are individual, even if rates have gone up for universities, it would not make the journals 'much more profitable' as the conclusion says. This directly goes against the conclusion and thus the correct option.
(E) Not directly related to the conclusion.
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Re: A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 09:54
Awesome question!!
Based on weakening an assumption and breaking the "NECESSARY" Condition as per the "must" in the conclusion.
A similar pattern GMAT official question is present and that is:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/music-critic ... 42648.html

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Re: A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2019, 12:38
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I think analysing such questions unconstrained by the pressures of an exam or a test is much easier then tackling them under the brute of 1.5mins given on the actual exam. Nevertheless rather than pondering the correct answer start by discrediting the WRONG ones:

Actually, no...wait...start by picturing the argument and the premise on which it is based in your head: Publ. Co profits are up -> due to higher subscription costs for universities (by the way I did not think of the typical skeptic's counter-argument that the Publ. Co's revenue mix may include non-universities - and by the way it is always useful to have the Profit = Revenue - Cost equation in your head, as most business and finance advisors and consultants want you to think in P/L terms anyway and you might as well get used to it):

(A) Many university libraries have begun to charge higher and higher fines for overdue books and periodicals as a way of passing on increased journal subscription costs to library users. A: But how this relevant to the profits of the Publishing Company? Wrong
(B) A university library's acquisition budget usually represents only a small fraction of its total operating budget. A: I think the acquisition budget fact is just given to confuse you - how is it relevant to the final argument? Wrong.
(C) Publishing a scholarly journal is an expensive enterprise, and publishers of such journals cannot survive financially if they consistently lose money. A: Okay some traction on the Publishing Houses, which we are concerned with. No link however is provided between the reasoning given for increased profits. Wrong.
(D) Most subscribers to scholarly journals are individuals, not libraries, and the subscription rates for individuals have generally remained unchanged for the past several years. A: this looks better. This calls into question whether the increased subscription rates even have any influence on the revenues of Publ.Cos.
(E) The majority of scholarly journals are published no more than four times a year. A: Again, the final argument is not addressed but this may have confused you in case this implies that such journals are irrelevant to the Publ.Co? Perhaps, but this is not stated in the answer.
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Re: A significant amount of the acquisition budget of a typical university   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2019, 12:38
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