Should I Cancel It?

What to do when your library can no longer afford the big journal package…

Facilitator: Diane Taylor-Harding
Note-taker: Julia Gelfand

Brief notes from Saturday afternoon (April 26) Breakout Group on Collection Development – main themes:

  1. Role of Journals in Libraries – “should we cancel it?” – if so what is the criteria for retention (renewal) vs cancellation
    1. Dual coverage in databases & other duplicate coverage
    2. Databases appear to promote neutrality by indexing from multiple sources
    3. Reminder that journal literature in the sciences has strong society sourcing as well as depth from commercial publishing
    4. Subscription costs – perceived as being unsustainable as annual increases can exceed 8-10% in flat & declining budget environments
      • i.     Ability to negotiate
      • ii.     Normalizing pricing – already done for international users
  1. Using cost per use as indicator of alternative methods of access
  2. Connection to aggregators – some function in a “teasing way” with institutional subscribers – with “selective content,” embargoes, etc
  3. Issue of embargoes – may have to maintain multiple subscriptions (archive, database inclusion, current subscriptions, etc) –
  4. Some publishers still require multiple formats – print to get the online – library practices of discarding print
  5. Lack of perpetuity – forced to also purchase archive for ownership
  6. Discovery issues – how to leverage content for deeper discovery
    1. Role of federated searches
    2. Commercial vs institutionally developed methods
    3. Declining dependence on ILS by users
    4. Role of Subject Guides
  7. Usage – perceived decline overall but when users need it what alternative access can be tapped
    1. Examples were shared about how campuses are responding
      • i.     Stanford experience – shared by Grace Baysinger
      • ii.     “drowning in data”
      • iii.     Demand for ILL, document supply – buy as needed, on-demand
      • iv.     Libraries being told that they are exceeding usage quotas
      • v.     FTE & other metrics (tend to be inconsistently applied or defined)
        – Turnaways
  1. Licensing issues – terms vary greatly
    1. Role of “model license” in being adopted
    2. Different jurisdictions
    3. Library practices vary widely
  2. Decision-making – when to determine whether to subscribe
    1. Role of faculty
    2. Consultation
    3. Coverage by other consortia members
    4. Partnerships
    5. Trying not to be blindsighted
    6. Ability to negotiate
    7. Role of accreditation – certain content needed for specific programs
    8. Increasing demand on interdisciplinary needs
  3. Competitive Intelligence
    1. Changing perceptions of campuses, even smaller institutions, becoming more “research” oriented – greater interest in technology transfer issues, commercial directions with patents, relationships with industry
    2. “vanilla” or homogeneous collections vs unique content
    3. New initiatives
      • i.     SCOAP3, etc
  4. Role of Open Access (OA)
    1. Publishing models – author pays – if library assumes some of that responsibility it often comes out of collection budgets
    2. Response to mandates
  5. IT related issues
    1. Datamining
    2. Role of Link Resolvers – SFX, Open URL, etc
  6. Role of repositories – scholarship being deposited – pre/post prints
  7. Conclusions
    1. Librarians need to share more information & strategies in how to handle journals in new collection environments



Compiled by Julia Gelfand, 2 May 2014 – begs forgiveness if not captured accurately or inadvertently attributed to wrong party/institution