Archive for the 'Serials Crisis' Category

Serials Crisis: "California against Nature"

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 6th, 2010

Peter Suber has published "California against Nature" in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

* If publishers have been accelerating into a brick wall for decades, and libraries have been warning about the inevitable collision for decades, then why hasn't there been a collision before now?

There are two answers. First, many collisions have already occurred, even if they came and went without the same media attention. Universities have been canceling titles by the hundreds—and in the case of big-deal cancellations, by the thousands—for years. Even when collisions are incremental and cumulative rather than sudden and explosive, they have the same finality. And they have the same catastrophic effect on access to the portion of new research that is metered out to paying customers.

Second, when universities renewed more titles than they could realistically afford, it's not because found previously undiscovered or undisclosed pots of money. It's because they made painful cuts in order to find the money. Most of these cuts came from their book budgets, extending a serials crisis in the sciences to a monograph crisis in the humanities. The long series of small collisions is a measure of the pain universities have endured to postpone a wider and larger one.

At some point there really isn't any money left, or the money can only be found through cuts more painful than journal cancellations. After several decades of hyperinflationary price increases, followed by a severe recession, continuing business as usual will bring a critical mass of universities to that critical point. Publishers aren't just witnesses to this impending crunch. Those that continue to charge hyperinflationary price increases are accelerating it. Those that won't survive the resulting shake-out, even if their own prices had been moderate and affordable, will be co-victims with researchers and research institutions.

ICOLC “Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses” Reissued

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 20th, 2010

The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has updated and reissued its "Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses."

Here's an excerpt:

The ICOLC is reissuing its Statement on the Global Economic Crisis to update information providers on the state of library and library consortia budgets in 2010. The updates below reinforce the ICOLC Statement in three substantial ways.

  1. ICOLC did not overestimate the severity of cuts to library and library consortia funding levels in its original Statement. Furthermore, we believe the worst may still be before us, as US state governments suffer the loss of stimulus funds and continued weak regional economies. All parts of the world are facing negative economic repercussions from the European debt crisis. The need for pricing restraint and options remains paramount.
  2. Fifty ICOLC member groups from around the world have participated in an anonymous survey to measure 2009 to 2010 price changes from over 30 major vendors and publishers of electronic databases and journals. This survey reveals that 38% of the price changes provided price control in the form of 1% increases or less. Seven percent (7%) of the price changes provided price reductions. We wish to commend those suppliers who have worked with libraries and consortia to contain prices. However, significant room for improvement remains. Some suppliers have done a much better job of containing prices than others. We call upon the full range of suppliers to show price restraint in 2010-2011 to enable customers to sustain as many information resource licenses as possible.
  3. We take this opportunity to highlight the added potential negative impact of exclusivity on prices, as well as access. A new Principle 3 on page 3 of this document expresses the strongly held belief of ICOLC members that, over the long-term, multiple distribution channels for licensed content provide the most affordable and suitable options for access across diverse library communities.

"Seeking the New Normal: Periodicals Price Survey 2010"

Posted in Libraries, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on April 15th, 2010

Kittie S. Henderson & Stephen Bosch have published "Seeking the New Normal: Periodicals Price Survey 2010" in Library Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

A number of publishers upped prices for 2010. Springer announced a five percent increase. Elsevier price increases are also in the five percent range, with the notable exception of The Lancet. The 2010 price for The Lancet jumped nine percent over 2009 levels; that increase was still smaller than in previous years. In October, the library world reeled as Nature Publishing Group (NPG) announced a 640 percent price increase (from $39.95 in 2009 to $299 in 2010) for a print subscription to Scientific American. The cost for the digital site license also rose substantially, and a number of consortia, like the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the Oberlin Group, refused to renew. The announcement came only weeks after NPG bought the magazine.

Canadian Research Knowledge Network Completes License Agreements Worth $140 Million

Posted in ERM/Discovery Systems, Licenses, Serials Crisis on January 18th, 2010

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network, which has 73 academic institutions as members, has completed three-year license agreements worth $140 million with 14 scholarly publishers. It is estimated that over $40 million was saved compared to institutional licenses for comparable content.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Despite major financial constraints and uncertainty worldwide, CRKN continues to meet its goals of providing high-impact content for over 850,000 university researchers and students across the country. “This achievement signals CRKN’s contribution to a fertile research environment in Canada, and ability to maintain advantageous terms and price predictability in spite of turbulent economic conditions,” states Deb deBruijn, Executive Director. “Through strong arrangements with vendors, member participation in these national agreements has been largely maintained from the previous period, and has even grown on some agreements, across all sizes of universities.” Please refer to the Backgrounder for publishers, products and participation levels.

CRKN members have taken advantage of new flexibility offered in the renewal as multiple agreements have been unbundled by CRKN, allowing members to tailor their participation in each separate agreement. Members’ return on investment is high through these agreements. A conservative estimate reflects savings of between 15% to over 50% within the national agreements compared to institutional prices for comparable content, representing savings of over $40 million over a three-year period. In addition, members derive value through superior price protection with caps on annual increases set below market norm, expanded usage terms through the CRKN model license agreement, and the most strategic influence with publishers regarding future services and developments. . . .

In keeping with the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Consortial Licenses, CRKN seeks to work with strategic partners that demonstrate flexibility, competitive pricing models, and delivery of long-term value. Vendors with whom CRKN works have shown their commitment to members by providing flexible payment terms, making cost containment a priority, and developing forward-looking ways to add value to the relationship. For example, several vendors will now provide support for Shibboleth, an open-source implementation for identity-based authentication and authorization, and will also participate in the recently-implemented Canadian Access Federation, which will provide federated access management services for identity providers (including universities and libraries) and service providers (such as publishers).

Presentations from "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace"

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Serials Crisis on July 28th, 2009

SPARC has released presentations from the "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace" SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA Annual 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The economy and its impact on library and higher education budgets are the most urgent concern for the library community today. While libraries have long been grappling with constrained collection budgets, we face a new urgency in continuing the transformation promised by Open Access and new technologies. This forum took a bird's eye view of the scholarly communication marketplace and suggested tactics for navigating through tough times.

"SPARC-ACRL Forum: Doomsday Clock Countdown for Scholarly Communications?"

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 17th, 2009

In "SPARC-ACRL Forum: Doomsday Clock Countdown for Scholarly Communications?," Josh Hadro reports on the 2009 SPARC-ACRL Forum, including libraries' new "zero tolerance for price increases."

Here's an excerpt:

"It’s time to give up the kumbaya of librarianship," [James] Neal said as he approached his last few proposals, and "radicalize our approach to collaboration."

We are just a few minutes from midnight, he said as he invoked the Doomsday Clock metaphor to dramatically portray the relationship between libraries and publishers. We are, he warned, quickly headed "toward potentially explosive conditions."

“Not Served on a Silver Platter! Access to Online Mathematics Information in Africa”

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 21st, 2009

Anders Wandahl has self-archived "Not Served on a Silver Platter! Access to Online Mathematics Information in Africa" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

The "truly free" resources listed in the table [e.g., open access journals] above are free to anyone and anywhere. Resources provided by other programmes and initiatives, which are described below [e.g., HINARI], are also free to end-users in all or most African countries. However, there is an importance difference between these two groups of resources. The second group requires some sort of authentication before the user is allowed access. . . .

In order for the IP number control system to work smoothly, the public IP number(s) should be fairly stable. In Africa, this is not always the case, since a change of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) also usually means a change of the IP number. African institutions sometimes see an advantage in negotiating terms and prices with a new Internet Service Provider now and then, in order to find a more favorable deal, but this means that the new IP numbers must be supplied to all journals and publishers before access is reestablished.

To complicate this picture a little further, there is a distinction between static and dynamic IP numbers. In general, there is a world-wide shortage of IP numbers. In order to cope with this situation, the numbers are sometimes assigned to universities and institutions in a dynamic as opposed to static way. A dynamically assigned IP number may change any time (even though they usually are pretty stable over time). A static number is assigned once and is not supposed to change as long as you have a running contract with an Internet Service Provider, which makes them better for authentication purposes. The flip-side of the coin is that static numbers are more expensive.

Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 14th, 2009

The SURFfoundation has released Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This study examines the costs and potential benefits of alternative models for scientific and scholarly publishing in the Netherlands. It is a follow-up of the Australian study 'Research Communication Costs, Emerging Opportunities and Benefits' (Houghton et al. 2006) and the UK/JISC study 'Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models'. The Dutch study was commissioned by SURFfoundation and led by Professor John Houghton from the Centre of Strategic Economic Studies at Melbourne's Victoria University and Jos de Jonge and Marcia van Oploo of EIM Business & Policy Research in the Netherlands. . . .

The study Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation compares three publication models. The greatest advantage is offered by the Open Access model, which means that the research institution or the party financing the research pays for publication and the article is then freely accessible. Adopting this model could lead to an annual saving of EUR 133 million. Even if the Netherlands were the only country to adopt this publication model and continued to pay for licences to access periodicals, there would still be a saving of EUR 37 million.

“Who Profits From For-Profit Journals?”

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 14th, 2009

At the "Corporate Appropriation of Academic Knowledge" session of the American Association of University Professors annual conference, scholars were urged to publish in nonprofit journals, not commercial ones.

Read more about it at ""Who Profits From For-Profit Journals?"."

Forty Percent of UK University Libraries to Cut Materials Budgets in 2009-10 Academic Year

Posted in Libraries, Publishing, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on May 22nd, 2009

The Times Higher Education reports that 40% of surveyed UK university libraries intend to cut journals and books from their materials budgets in the 2009-10 academic year, and a fifth expect to cut at least one "big deal" electronic journal package. (Thanks to Colin Steele.)

NorthEast Research Libraries Consortium Releases Budget Crisis Letter to Publishers

Posted in ARL Libraries, Serials Crisis on May 3rd, 2009

The NorthEast Research Libraries consortium has released a letter to publishers about the current collection development budget crisis its members face.

Here's an excerpt from the letter:

Financial officers in NERL institutions have been given–and shared with NERL–quite specific targets for budget discipline for the next 2 or more years. For example, in NERL's home institution, Yale University, reductions in our collections budget for FY 2009-2010 will be on the order of 10%, with a likely additional 5% already mandated for 2010-2011. Similar stories are told on many sides, with some of the heaviest impacts on the institutions among us that are the largest and have been the beneficiaries of important university endowments. Average actual dollar cuts across the NERL consortium are in the range of (minus) 4-5%, which we currently estimate as impacting overall buying power against normal increases on the order of (minus) 8-10%. . . .

Our goal with you and other information providers similarly placed is to find ways to achieve net price reductions in both next year and the year after. We hope to do this strategically and in partnership with you, in a way that allows us to stabilize a new working relationship on which to build in the years to follow. With some imagination and creativity, we hope we can strike new pricing models, or perhaps a menu of such models, which will enable institutions to do best by their faculty and students.

I hope and expect that we can do this thoughtfully, collegially, and in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect, realizing that the structural adjustments of these coming two years will impact and reduce permanently our ability to purchase content at pre-2008-09 levels.

DigitalKoans

Seven ARL Libraries Face Major Planned or Potential Budget Cuts

Posted in ARL Libraries, Higher Education Budget Cuts, Serials Crisis on April 28th, 2009

Seven Association of Research Libraries member libraries are facing major planned or potential budget cuts. These examples suggest that significant budget cuts may be widespread in ARL libraries.

The Cornell University Library will have to cut around about $944,000 from the fiscal year 2010 materials budget.

"A reduction in the materials budget is in keeping with reductions across the university," said John Saylor, associate university librarian for scholarly resources and special collections. "It's unfortunate but unavoidable. The library is committed to maintaining and building a collection that ensures our lasting position among the top research libraries."

The Emory University Libraries have "already cut $200,000 from the current (2008/2009) collections budget" and more cuts are planned in FY 2010:

Fiscal Year 2010 will bring additional collection cuts as the library struggles to adjust a reduced budget to inflationary pressures which can range from five to ten percent. Chuck Spornick, Head of Collection Management for the General Libraries, estimates that almost $637,000 will need to be trimmed from the 2010 collections budget.

The MIT Libraries are faced with a $1.4 million budget cut this summer:

"As part of the Institute-wide mandate to reduce General Institute Budget expenditures in the 2010 fiscal year, the MIT Libraries are required to reduce their budget by 6%, or $1.4M by July 1, 2009. Further budget reductions are anticipated for FY2011 and FY2012."

The UCLA Libraries are facing a cut of over $400,00 this year alone:

Last Friday I received a memorandum from Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh detailing this request. I am meeting with campus administration today to further explore the implications for the UCLA Library. In the detail attached to EVC Waugh’s memorandum the library is slated for a $438,623 mid-year reduction for 2008-09 and the five percent reduction for 2009-10 of $1,830,201.

The University of Tennessee Libraries sent a February 16th memo to deans, department heads, and library representatives saying that they were "facing a potential 8% base budget cut. This cut represents reductions totaling $1,343,299 from the library’s operations, personnel, and collections budget."

The University of Washington Libraries have submitted a business plan to the Provost and Executive Vice President that reflects "levels of reduction in central support of 8%, 10%, and 12%." In dollar terms, these reductions are $2,457,962, $3,072,452, and $$3,686,943 respectively.

The Yale University Library is cutting its collection budget for the first time due to budget shortfalls:

This is the first time that the general University collections budget will be cut for economic reasons. Four or five years ago the Library's General Appropriation (GA) was reduced by 5%, but this reduction was not applied to the collections budgets. (On a couple of occasions in the last decade, the YUL general collections were reduced by $500,000 each, as part of a buying-power reconciliation.) This time will be different. As a result of the University's 25% endowment decrease, the following reductions will take effect: (1) the collections GA budgets will be cut by 5%, a decrease of around $300,000; and (2) the collections endowment budgets will see a 6.75% reduction, approximately $900,000. These reductions will take effect as of 1 July 2009 and may be repeated in future year(s).

In "Predictions for 2009," Peter Suber discusses the potential impact of the global recession on journal publishing, libraries, and open access (see "The Worldwide Financial Crisis and Recession Will Have Mixed Consequences for OA, but Will Yield More Gains Than Losses" section).

Related post: "University of Florida Libraries Propose to Cut Budget by over $2.6 Million."


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