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Serials Review 2005

Journal Cancellations 2005 | Related Articles | Serials Review Process | Subject Specialists/Bibliographers


Serials Review Process


This is a working document of guidelines and strategies for reviewing serials subscriptions. The goal is to develop a cohesive process for serials review during the spring semester and for bibliographers to make informed decisions when considering the long term effect of cancellations.


I. Preliminary Operating Assumptions

  1. To preserve funds for monographs, serials must be reviewed for cancellations.
  2. Average annual serials price increases for academic libraries in the past 5 years range from 8-11 %, depending on discipline.
  3. Our serials spending is approximately 72% of the materials budget (includes databases and other annual fees)
  4. To keep pace with inflation and flat budget scenarios, the overall percentage to be targeted will be a minimum of 10% of the serials budget (not a final figure), or $600,000.

II. To support the process, Acquisitions and Collection Development (other departments as needed) will provide key data and resources.

  1. Collection Development homepage -- a link to “Serials Review 2005”

    a. Articles, documents and related links that discuss serials pricing and cancellation issues

    b. Current trends in publishers pricing models

    c. URLs to usage statistics

    d. Other tools, supporting info such as worksheets, serials lists, etc.

  2. Acquisitions – will develop serials subscriptions Excel lists with fund information, format, and other data.
  3. Consortia and publisher packages that do not allow cancellations will be identified and a list will be generated.

III. Fundamental principles

  1. Make informed decisions
  2. Review titles in conjunction with aspects of collection analysis
  3. Seek faculty input
  4. Do not base decision on price alone
  5. Consider long range effect of cut
  6. Use qualitative and quantitative measures
  7. Identify priority levels for serials titles in an area/fund
  8. Share interdisciplinary titles for consideration by related subject specialists
  9. Collaborate with colleagues

IV. Some Considerations

  1. What are the core journals in a discipline?
  2. What journals are fundamental to departmental teaching?  Research?
  3. Is the department growing, changing its focus, other trends?
  4. What are publishing trends in the area – open  access, publishing output, societies, other?
  5. Is the journal, conference proceeding, etc. indexed in one of the standard services?
  6. Is the text available online in an aggregator?  This might apply to trade publications that are used by business and technology.
  7. JCR Impact factors if applicable?
  8. Availability -- Are we the only holding library in the region?
  9. What is the cost per use?  Other usage data?
  10. What are the archival issues related to e-journal access?
  11. Formats?
  12. Pricing models?

IV. Data gathering

  1. Use statistics
  2. Impact Factors
  3. Pricing
  4. Publishers trends
  5. U.S. or foreign publisher
  6. Other data

V. Proposed Time line

  1. Discussion – Bibliographers’ meeting 2/10/05
  2. Data  gathering, special meetings/training – Feb/March
  3. Input from teaching faculty, etc. – March/April
  4. Prioritize titles for consideration – April/May
  5. Decisions on titles to be cut or not renewed--June

Yem Fong, 2/10/05