With 50% Cut, Virginia Research Libraries Recalibrate Relationship with Elsevier – SPARC

“Equity, affordability, and accessibility were at the center of the recent decision by the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) consortium to cut their spend with Elsevier nearly in half while maintaining access to their most frequently used materials.

The decision by six members of VRL (William & Mary, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and James Madison University) was grounded in a values-driven negotiation process that relied on data to make the case to move away from Elsevier’s “Big Deal” Freedom Collection. The new one-year agreement with Elsevier for 2021 significantly reduced the overall spend for each campus and allowed for a collection tailored to include each institution’s most used materials….”

What Collaboration Means to Us: The SPARC Journal Negotiation Community of Practice

“Negotiations are a particularly challenging area for collaboration among libraries. Driven by the prevalence of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality clauses, the culture of information sharing outside of consortial arrangements is not a ready tendency by academic librarians, despite some notable exceptions1. The perception of potential antitrust concerns chilled discussions about negotiation strategy and tactics, and large publishers continue to exploit this asymmetrical information environment aggressively. Even before the current COVID crisis, many libraries reached a breaking point in the serials cost increases that their budgets could no longer bear. These challenges around effective collaboration drove the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) to work with our members and the wider library community over the past two years to develop a journal negotiation community of practice. Initially focused on supporting libraries exploring cancelling their Big Deals, the community of practice quickly expanded to include negotiations more broadly, reflecting the need to better align the remaining publisher contracts with library needs and values and to better support libraries in this work. The Journal Negotiation Community of Practice has become a platform for dialog, sharing data and best practices, and creative problem solving. SPARC’s role is focused on both community building and catalyzing discussions as well as disseminating resources produced by these discussions. We work to create a welcoming environment for librarians to share both their questions and their experiences and to provide support by building tools to share actionable, on-demand information about both negotiating subscription packages and walking away from these packages altogether….”

When to Hold Them, When to Fold Them: Reassessing “Big Deals” in 2020: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  While cancellations of “Big Deals” at research institutions are making the headlines, small- and medium-sized schools are also addressing the issue of managing their journal packages by cancelling or unbundling major publishers’ journal packages. Although “Big Deals” were advantageous when first acquired, as the years passed, large publishers absorbed more publications annually, which brought higher costs and titles of lower relevance to the library. Each year librarians at Pepperdine University have analyzed cost per use, and each year the cost per use increased on many packages until these increases became unsustainable. Coinciding with this tipping point, alternatives to licensing entire packages emerged or became more viable. Libraries across the country realize that they no longer need to own everything. The authors go into details for each of the publishers’ “Big Deals,” present reasons why they were cancelled or restructured, the alternative solutions implemented, and what the reaction has been.

 

Measure Twice and Cut Once: How a Budget Cut Impacted Subscription Renewals: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Library staff at California State University, Fullerton carried out a project to determine where budget cuts could be made in their electronic journal subscriptions. The team analyzed usage statistics by journal title, determined pricing for each journal, and created a formula to clearly define the cost effectiveness of continuing or deactivating a subscription. In this presentation, Keri Prelitz and Greg Yorba, with contributions from Ilda Cardenas, explain the special considerations, challenges, and outcomes of the project. Using this information, they will repeat the analysis annually, especially in the wake of additional budget cuts due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Measure Twice and Cut Once: How a Budget Cut Impacted Subscription Renewals: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Library staff at California State University, Fullerton carried out a project to determine where budget cuts could be made in their electronic journal subscriptions. The team analyzed usage statistics by journal title, determined pricing for each journal, and created a formula to clearly define the cost effectiveness of continuing or deactivating a subscription. In this presentation, Keri Prelitz and Greg Yorba, with contributions from Ilda Cardenas, explain the special considerations, challenges, and outcomes of the project. Using this information, they will repeat the analysis annually, especially in the wake of additional budget cuts due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Communicating Collections Cancellations to Campus: A Qualitative Study | McLean | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  Academic libraries around the world are cancelling big deal journal subscriptions at an increasing rate. This is primarily due to budgetary challenges, the unsustainable hyperinflationary pricing of these packages, and a need to move toward new open access models. It is a complex situation with many vested interests and stakeholders. Some libraries have been the target of angry backlash from faculty after such cancellations. The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover strategies for communicating to the campus community about collections cancellations so that they will better understand and support the library in making these difficult decisions.

 

Communicating Collections Cancellations to Campus: A Qualitative Study | McLean | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  Academic libraries around the world are cancelling big deal journal subscriptions at an increasing rate. This is primarily due to budgetary challenges, the unsustainable hyperinflationary pricing of these packages, and a need to move toward new open access models. It is a complex situation with many vested interests and stakeholders. Some libraries have been the target of angry backlash from faculty after such cancellations. The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover strategies for communicating to the campus community about collections cancellations so that they will better understand and support the library in making these difficult decisions.

 

Alternate Publishing Model? – Your Say

“Did you know that the STM (Scientific, Technical and Medical) scholarly publishing industry was worth US$25 700 000 000 globally in 2017 [1]? Have you heard about an enormous profit of above 30% [2] made by most commercial publishers? Roughly calculating, it will give us around US$7 700 000 000 that could have been spent on research instead. Therefore, it should not be surprising that scientists around the world have been concerned about this matter for years. One quickly realizes that the system of scientific publishing is flawed, but is there a way to improve it?…

Scientist are generally aware of the crisis in academic publishing, but not everyone sees the simple solution: the abrupt discontinuation of feeding commercial publishers with both money and content. Plan X posits that scientific articles are published directly by universities. Such a move will force every university to establish their own publishing department. Even if it would cost them more than the sum they spend on the access to private publishers’ portfolio, it will finally provide the publishing system with unlimited access and evolution. The most important point is that the principles of the publishing system will not change, only the publishing bodies will. Therefore, the peer review[4] process will not change, but it will become as strict as the university would like it to be. One can quickly realize what would happen with the Impact factor (IF)[5]. IF will directly describe the university’s competitiveness. However, there is one requirement for this system to work. All the scientists have to publish only within their own affiliated university. It would additionally solve another issue – the pressure on publishing in high IF journals. Many granting agencies already require using papers citations as a measurement of one’s scientific success. However, this is just a tip of the iceberg of all improvements, which Plan X will bring….”

VRL reaches agreement for new one-year agreement with Elsevier | UVA Library News and Announcements

“Most of the Virginia research libraries involved in the negotiation are experiencing budget shortfalls for 2021 and projecting budget shortfalls for 2022. Each institution involved reduced its overall spend for the year, balancing its COVID-distressed budget for 2021. The new agreement frees the institutions from the “Big Deal” Freedom Collection, allowing for a collection that better suits users’ needs….”