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Cancellation Review Process for 2020

The UWM Libraries request feedback on proposed subscription cancellations for fiscal year 2019-2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are the UWM Libraries undertaking a cancellation review project?

A: Best practices for collection management require that we review our acquisitions and expenditures to ensure that we are applying our financial resources responsibly. Cancelling underused resources gives us the flexibility to purchase resources that better align with programs and initiatives. Our last comprehensive cancellation project was done for FY17; our current plan is to make this review an annual process.

Q: Why are the UWM Libraries cancelling subscriptions?

A: Annual price increases far outpace our ability to absorb these costs into our budget. In addition, while the University of Wisconsin System’s shared electronic collection gives us the negotiating and purchasing power of a large consortium, changes in coordinated purchasing for FY20 pushed some essential and expensive resources back to the UWM Libraries’ collection budget.

Q: What is the goal of the cancellation review project?

A: The project has two goals: first, to reduce expenditures for current subscriptions by approximately $125,000; second, to initiate an ongoing process for reviewing resources to ensure that we are making the best use of our collection budget by analyzing usage statistics, subscription increases, and cost per use.

Q: What was the methodology used to create the lists of titles of potential cancellation targets?

A: A complete review of UWM Libraries’ subscription resources was conducted by the Collection Review Task Force, in consultation with UWM librarians. The task force collected a wide array of metrics using tools available in Alma, our library services platform, and Alma Analytics, the business intelligence tool that pairs with Alma. We isolated metrics on overall cost, resource usage, alternate access through other resources (overlap analysis), and cost per use. Alternate access and cost per use were the main criteria for inclusion in the proposed cancellation lists.

Q: How will the UWM Libraries decide which resources to cancel?

A: We need qualitative feedback from faculty, staff and students before we make our final decisions! The review process takes into account a combination of quantitative, qualitative and cost measures. Final cancellation decisions will be made based on feedback from campus stakeholders, so it is crucial that we hear from you about the resources you consider most critical to teaching, learning and research.

Q: Which subject areas will be affected?

A: All of the continuing resources -- electronic and print journals, electronic databases, and other non-database e-resources -- that could potentially be cancelled in FY20 were included in the resource review. Cancellations will be spread across subject areas as evenly as possible.

Q: When will the cancellations take effect?

A: Depending on the subscription renewal cycle of the particular database or journal, cancellations may become effective any time after January 1, 2020.

Q: Can I review the lists of potential cancellations?

A: Yes, the lists are posted under the Resource Lists tab in this guide.

Q: How can I provide feedback?

A: Send an email to the Collection Review Task Force at

Q: Can graduate students and other members of the campus community participate?

A: Yes, we welcome your feedback on the proposed cancellations.

Q: Will my feedback mean that a title will be saved from cancellation automatically?

A: We want to learn as much as possible about how resources are used by faculty, staff and students. Your feedback will be thoughtfully considered. However, we cannot guarantee that we can maintain subscriptions to every resource of concern to our UWM community. For a low use resource, borrowing or purchasing articles for individual users may be the most cost-effective way to provide access.

Q: What if I need an article from one of the cancelled journals?

A: If there is alternate access for that journal, Search@UW will show a View It link. If there is no alternate access, the UWM Libraries will obtain the article for you through Interlibrary Loan or Get It Now.

Q: Who can I contact for more information?

A:  The UWM Libraries designates a library contact for each academic program. You can contact the librarian assigned to your department for more information about specific titles. If you have general questions about the review process, email