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Collection Management @ UM Libraries: Library Resource Cancellations

The purpose of this guide is to inform the University Mississippi Libraries user community about the policies, procedures, and updates regarding the management of the university's library collection.

Why Does the Library Cancel Resources?

The cost for library resources increases every year. Librarians commonly refer to these annual increases as inflation, but the actual increases are not always connected (or even necessarily correlated) to economic inflation metrics.

UM Libraries strives to retain access to all currently subscribed resources--while also maintaining the amount of money allocated towards monograph purchases--by negotiating with vendors and identifying opportunities to maintain access while reducing expenditures (e.g., agreeing to multi-year deals for bundles of databases or journals from the same company).

Unfortunately, those efforts are not always enough to counteract the ever-increasing costs. However, thanks to the generosity of the Provost (both current and predecessors) who have often covered the deficit between our allocated budget and expenditures, we have often been able to maintain our collections most years with little, or no, noticeable disruption.

But we have now reached a point where the current library resource collection is not sustainable with our current budget, even with supplementary funds provided by the Provost's office. Hence, the need for us to modify how we provide resource access to our community; this includes cancelling resources.

Fiscal Year 2019 Resource Cancellations

Faculty Senate Presentation

Dean Botero presented (attached below) a summary of the library budget and Wiley cancellation at the Faculty Senate meeting on December 4th, 2018.

Wiley Journals (subset)

The library is cancelling our subscription to 55 Wiley journals (see attachment below for full list). In aggregate, these journals represented 2,079 uses over the last three years. Cancelling these subscriptions will allow the University to save approximately $198,000 annually (around $3,600 per journal and around $286 per use).

In order to minimize impact to researchers as much as possible, we will be purchasing "tokens" from Wiley--the savings mentioned above includes the cost for the tokens--which will allow researchers to immediately access 2,000 articles to which UM Libraries does not subscribe during calendar year 2019 (January 2019 - December 2019).

For users, the process will be the same as using interlibrary loan. For the first 2,000 Wiley articles requested, UM Libraries will expend a token, which will allow the library to quickly gain access to the article and make available on users' interlibrary loan account. If more than 2,000 Wiley articles are requested, then the article will be acquired through the traditional interlibrary loan process which may require more time.

Note: The average journal cost is calculated based on our savings and not the actual journal cost. Our overall savings is the difference between the cost of the journals and the discounts we lose for reducing our overall annual spend with Wiley.


Compendex is an index that helps researchers locate relevant scientific literature related to engineering. As an index, it does not provide access to any material itself but does make it easier to locate the existence of an article, book, or other scholarly item.

Unfortunately, we have seen decreases in the use of Compendex for a number of years, and its cost/use (subscription cost divided by number of searches) is much higher than any of our other subscribed indexes in both STEM and non-STEM areas:

  • Cost per search over last 4 years: $55.91 (Proquest offered to lower the price for FY19 but the cost per search would still have been around $38)
  • Cost per search of INSPEC (another engineering subscribed index): $8.87
  • Cost per search of all subscribed indexes: $4.87 (including Compendex)
  • Cost per search of all subscribed indexes: $2.04 (excluding Compendex).

Scopus, INSPEC, and Google Scholar, while not direct substitutes, are alternatives to Compendex.

Individually Subscribed Journals

The library is cancelling a number of individually subscribed journals. Liaisions librarians for each department are responsible for maintaining much of the journals collection. Due to the budget shortfall for FY19 and projected shortfall for FY20, liaison librarians were asked to cancel journals they perceived would not have an outsized negative impact on their constituents.

In total, 48 journals were cancelled with a projected cost of $40,569.

Other Changes

The library is cancelling subscriptions to resources which are no longer available (e.g., the microfilm company is no longer producing content) or where the resource is now open access.

The projected FY19 cost for those resources would have been $2,249.