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Subscription Review Update: December Wrap-Up 12/14/21

I am writing today to provide a final wrap-up update on the subscription review project for fiscal year 2020-2021 that we have been working on since this time last year. As we covered in the earlier updates, this review and cancellation of subscriptions was made necessary because of the high rate of inflation for journals and other subscriptions and flat or decreased funding for Libraries collections.

Our original target was to cancel $1.5 million in journals and other subscriptions, including breaking up one or more of our “Big Deal” publisher packages. We reduced the target over the summer to $800k after receiving some favorable budget news. Even with this reduced target we still needed to reduce our spend on at least one of our “Big Deal” publisher packages. We selected Wiley journals because it is one of three largest publisher packages by cost, and was the only contract scheduled for renegotiation in 2021. Our Elsevier and Springer Nature agreements are set to expire at the end of 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Over the spring and summer, our subject librarians worked with the departments and faculty they support to identify individual subscriptions for cancellation. Subject librarians continued to work on these lists and started working on the list of Wiley journals to retain and cancel into the fall. In total 675 individual journals and other subscriptions were identified for cancellation for a cost savings of approximately $520k.

Breaking up the Wiley package will further reduce our spend by $400k. We will retain direct access to 500 journals and maintain access to more than 93% of previous usage through these subscription journals, owned backfiles, and open access articles in the Wiley corpus. We will lose immediate access to the new articles from 900 journals starting January 2022. Content of many of these journals can also be found within other resources such as Academic Search Complete, or is available open access in Pubmed Central (PMC) and other open access repositories. We will continue to acquire needed articles from unsubscribed journals via interlibrary loan.

We remain committed to providing our UW community with timely access to the information they need through a Libraries collections as service framework through purchasing and licensing of resources for our researchers and by being part of a network of shared collections in research libraries worldwide.

If you have specific questions about this process, we encourage you to reach out to FCUL voting faculty or your Libraries Subject Librarian.

Denise Pan
Associate Dean for Collections & Content