May 4, 2020
Every fiscal year, the UWM Libraries must adjust its spending on the collection to accommodate University needs, our total budget allocation, and cost increases. In recent years and continuing today, scholarly publishers have increased their prices by 5-7% annually, while our budget has remained flat or decreased. In this environment, our purchasing power is significantly diminished, and we must make difficult choices about cancelling subscriptions and providing access in other ways.
In 2020-2021, the UWM Libraries budget will be reduced by 6.7%. To manage this amount, we must reduce spending on the collection by $368,000. While this is a significant amount, it maintains the collection budget at 40% of the UWM Libraries’ total budget, which is consistent with past years and spending by our academic library peers.
To manage this spending reduction, we are looking closely at the value, affordability and sustainability of our subscriptions to journal packages. This year, the UWM Libraries paid Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of scientific information, $659,663 for access to the Science Direct Complete/Freedom Collection, a package of 2,200 journals. That amount captured nearly 20% of the collection budget. We are negotiating with Elsevier and other publishers to lower the cost of their subscriptions. For more information on the UWM Libraries’ collection budget, see my recent blog post on the topic.
While we continue our negotiations with publishers, we also seek broad input from the UWM community to inform our planning. The titles under consideration are available here: https://guides.library.uwm.edu/fy21cancellation/TitleLists. These are preliminary lists. The appearance of a title on these lists does not mean that it will be cancelled.
I invite you to provide your comments on the Excel spreadsheet in this LibGuide. I also ask that you share this communication with your units and colleagues. It is important that we reach as many individuals as possible.
We will begin reviewing your comments on Tuesday, June 30, and continue to accept additional comments throughout the summer.
If you have questions about the review process, please contact the Collection Review Task Force at email@example.com or the Library Contact for your discipline (https://uwm.edu/libraries/about/contacts/).
Thank you in advance for providing your comments by Tuesday, June 30.
Associate Vice Provost and Director of Libraries