SPARC Debrief on Three Recent Big Deal Cancellations – SPARC

“On May 15th, SPARC hosted a member debrief on recent Big Deal cancellations. Curtis Brundy, Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, and Nerea Llamas, spoke about their institutions’ processes leading up to the decision to walk away from their bundled Elsevier subscriptions, shared suggestions for other libraries that may be considering a similar move, and answered questions from the audience. 

All three institutions sought a cost reduction in their upcoming Elsevier contracts, as well as sustainable, affordable, and transparent agreements before making the ultimate decision to unbundle their Big Deals. Each speaker emphasized the importance of campus engagement strategies, including surveying faculty, hosting town halls, and equipping themselves and others with in-depth data analysis processes. Speakers recommend empowered negotiations decision-making through tools and communication strategies, ensuring vendors do not drag out the timeline for their own gain. …”

Taking a Big Bite Out of the Big Deal – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Unsub is the game-changing data analysis service that is helping librarians forecast, explore, and optimize their alternatives to the Big Deal. Unsub (known as Unpaywall Journals until just this week) supports librarians in making independent assessments of the value of their journal subscriptions relative to price paid rather than relying upon publisher-provided data alone. Librarians breaking away from the Big Deal often credit Unsub as a critical component of their strategy. I am grateful to Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem, co-founders of Our Research, a small nonprofit organization with an innocuous sounding name that is the provider of Unsub, for taking time to answer some questions for the benefit of the readers of The Scholarly Kitchen. …”

Iowa State University Library finalizes Elsevier negotiations, forgoes multi-year package deal in favor of individual journal subscriptions | University Library | Iowa State University

“The Iowa State University Library finalized negotiations over its 2020 journal agreement with Elsevier. Under the new agreement, the library will subscribe to journals on a title-by-title basis instead of a multi-year package deal, giving greater control over spending while still providing essential content to campus.

During negotiations, the library pursued three goals: reduce costs, remove confidentiality restrictions, and progress toward open access. These goals aligned with our Principles for Advancing Openness through Journal Negotiations, endorsed by the Iowa State University Faculty Senate, Library Advisory Committee, Student Government, and Graduate and Professional Student Senate in 2019.

The new agreement achieves a significant cost reduction by moving to individual subscriptions at a discounted price. In addition, it does not include confidentiality language and can be publicly shared. Although we anticipated greater progress toward open access in this agreement, we are committed to carrying the discussion forward in 2020….”

A Big Deal Update » Open@VT

“This Open@VT blogpost is part of an ongoing series on Virginia Tech’s pending negotiations with the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier. Virginia Tech is one of seven research universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that negotiates collectively with Elsevier and other large publishers to license access to thousands of scholarly journals through what are commonly called “big deals.” (The other schools are George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and College of William and Mary.) The current big deal agreement with Elsevier is set to expire at the end of 2021. As this deadline approaches, we are eager to engage the VT community in a conversation about the best path forward….”

A Big Deal Update » Open@VT

“This Open@VT blogpost is part of an ongoing series on Virginia Tech’s pending negotiations with the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier. Virginia Tech is one of seven research universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that negotiates collectively with Elsevier and other large publishers to license access to thousands of scholarly journals through what are commonly called “big deals.” (The other schools are George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and College of William and Mary.) The current big deal agreement with Elsevier is set to expire at the end of 2021. As this deadline approaches, we are eager to engage the VT community in a conversation about the best path forward….”

To Bundle or Not to Bundle? That Is the Question – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In recent years, many universities have concluded that the price they pay for their Big Deal journal license agreements and the resulting value they perceive have become misaligned. As a consequence, academia has stiffened its negotiating posture with leading journal publishers. The outcome of these negotiations can be grouped into two categories: rebundling and unbundling. Most attention in recent years has been given over to the search for open access, by transforming Big Deal subscriptions into rebundled transformative agreements. But last week’s news makes clear that attention is equally needed on unbundling the Big Deal — breaking it back up into a la carte elements. Will some combination of these two outcomes allow major publishers to reestablish the value of their licenses without making a major revenue sacrifice? …”

Upcoming Elsevier Cancellations – UNC Chapel Hill Libraries

“We are writing to let you know that, despite more than a year of sustained negotiations, the publisher Elsevier has failed to provide an affordable path for UNC-Chapel Hill to renew our bundled package of approximately 2,000 e-journal titles. As a result, we will not renew this package when it expires on April 30, 2020. Instead, the University Libraries will subscribe to a much smaller set of individual Elsevier titles….”

Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Last week I had the privilege of serving as the keynote speaker for “Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age.” This virtual event was originally developed as a preconference for the annual UKSG conference, which like so many events was cancelled to help fight the global pandemic. This piece is a reconstruction of my remarks, highlighting the main points that are on my mind as I think about open access, business models, and sustainability. My slides are available via my university’s repository….”

Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Last week I had the privilege of serving as the keynote speaker for “Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age.” This virtual event was originally developed as a preconference for the annual UKSG conference, which like so many events was cancelled to help fight the global pandemic. This piece is a reconstruction of my remarks, highlighting the main points that are on my mind as I think about open access, business models, and sustainability. My slides are available via my university’s repository….”

The Impact of Big Deal Breaks on Library Consortia: An Exploratory Case Study: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  This study examines the impact of Big Deal breaks on statewide resource sharing. An analysis within VIVA (Virginia’s academic library consortium) for Big Deal publishers showed significant lending of one publisher with low levels of statewide holdings. A closer examination of an individual institution with the most recent cancellations of this publisher’s content showed high levels of fulfillment from lending partners outside the consortium. As more groups cancel Big Deals, consideration for alternative access will be increasingly important, and understanding the resource sharing environment should inform a cooperative approach to journal acquisitions in order to minimize negative impacts on researchers.

 

Survey of Academic Library Leadership: Plans for Academic & Scholarly Journals

“The report looks closely at how academic libraries manage and possibly alter their academic journal purchasing and collection practices in the near future.   The study gives detailed data on how much libraries have been spending on academic journals, and what percentage of their subscription base is accounted for by print alone, print/electronic, or electronic alone subscriptions, with detailed statistical breakdowns for each type of subscription.  The report also presents exhaustive information on the role of so called “Big Deals” in journals purchasing.  Survey participants also rate their satisfaction with their ability to assess journal usage on campus and, in open ended questions, discuss what they have done and plan to do in their journals purchasing regime.

Just a few of this report’s many findings are that:

For private colleges and universities approximately 20.47 % of all spending on academic journals is for print alone subscriptions.

Mean spending for academic journals by the libraries in the sample was $917,961 for the 2019-20 academic year.
For BA-granting institutions so called “Big Deals” through which colleges subscribe to a broad range of journals from a particular publisher at a reduced price, accounted for 48% of total expenditures on journals.
Only 14.29% of research university directors or deans sampled felt “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their capacity to assess journals usage by their library patron populations….”

Project Announcement: Cancelling the Big Deal | Ithaka S+R

“As Big Deal spending has come to occupy a greater and greater share of materials budgets, libraries are increasingly questioning the status quo of their Big Deal subscriptions. Recent years have seen a number of prominent cancellations, precipitated by questions about the value of the subscription materials. In 2020 we expect this trend to continue with libraries becoming increasingly assertive in their negotiating stance with publishers. This may yield some interesting compromise agreements, but it potentially will lead to more libraries cancelling Big Deals. This brings up a range of questions about how users can continue to access scholarly materials in this rapidly shifting resource landscape. 

In May 2020 Ithaka S+R will launch a study in collaboration with a cohort of libraries to explore the impact of Big Deal cancellations on users, strategies for accessing content, and perceptions of the library’s role in providing access. In this post we share the project’s goals, the preliminary roster of library partners, and how additional libraries–perhaps yours!–can get involved….”

Elsevier Exit: Q&A with Florida State University about their Big Deal Cancellation(s) – SPARC

“Florida State University (FSU) lost access to its Elsevier content in March 2019, following cancellation of its $2 million Big Deal contract. However, Elsevier was not their first Big Deal cancellation. FSU had previously canceled their Springer Big Deal in 2016, and so went into their Elsevier negotiations knowing that these negotiations could result in similar outcomes. Elsevier cautioned FSU to prepare to spend a $1 million dollars for tokens and pay-per-view access to content. 

Here’s what really happened, and a snapshot of the hard work that went into their bold decision.

The following is a Q&A with Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries (FSU), and her negotiations team: Valerie Boulos (Associate Dean, Resource Management & Discovery Services), Roy Ziegler (Associate Director for Collection Development), and Jean Phillips (Associate Dean of Libraries for Technology and Digital Scholarship). All were heavily involved in the “Elsevier Exit.” Roy was instrumental in establishing outreach strategies to campus stakeholders, transparently communicating their data analysis to faculty and liaison librarians. Jean and Valerie set up expedited article delivery service, helping FSU establish effective alternative access plans. They also assessed implications for interlibrary loan (ILL), and negotiated the license agreement for 150 new a la carte Elsevier titles after cancellation….”