Update on Memorial University Libraries journal consultation process

Memorial Libraries wishes to advise it is continuing to consult on the review of journal holdings for the 2016 subscription year until Jan 15, 2016. This is to ensure all feedback is analyzed before access to the publisher’s journal packages expire at the end of January.

“We encourage ongoing consultation and will receive additional feedback after this deadline but it will be reviewed in relation to the next purchasing year,” said Lorraine Busby, university librarian.

During the last five years, Memorial Libraries increased the portion of its budget allocated to journals from approximately $6 million to $7.5 million, but it is not enough to offset a weak Canadian dollar and rising publisher costs.

A journal retention survey of the university community was completed in June 2015. Memorial Libraries has compiled a list of journals currently under review. This list is a result of consultation, as well as use and cost data. At this point, no journals have been cancelled.

As recently pointed out by CBC News, journal subscriptions are complex and profit driven. Critical journals are often packaged with a group of less popular journals, a practice which results in libraries paying for materials they don’t necessarily deem as valuable. The current analysis involves examining journal packages and existing subscriptions with the possibility of breaking bundles apart and buying back the most significant journals.  It may also include purchasing less expensive collections of e-journals that provide access to all but the current year of titles formerly accessed in the publisher’s packages.

“We are committed to protecting Memorial’s most valued journals,” said Ms. Busby. “I want to thank our research and teaching community for engaging in the process thus far. Once we have collected all the feedback, we will work with senior university administration on the next step of protecting those journals deemed essential.”                            

Please contact the Collections Review SubCommittee Chair, Erin Alcock  with any questions, comments or concerns.

More information on the 2015-2016 Collections Review can be found on our website