VCU Libraries seeks feedback on upcoming journal cancellations by Aug. 4
VCU Libraries has provided access to Springer journals via a large package subscription, which includes more than 2,100 peer-reviewed journals in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. The Libraries’ current contract ends December 31, 2023. In light of recent and anticipated reductions in funding, the Libraries must cut continuing collections spending by $200,000. It is possible that this amount could increase, depending on university funding. In order to achieve the necessary savings, the Libraries plans to discontinue the unsustainable Springer journal package at the end of the contract and begin subscribing to individual titles. Academic research libraries across the country have taken similar steps.
The Libraries will confine reductions to Springer titles only. Current subscriptions to the highly-used Nature and Adis titles and Scientific American will continue. Proposed cancellations list
To comment on proposed cuts, please use this form.
Springer was chosen for reductions for several reasons. The bundled package does not meet many of the values in publisher relations to which VCU Libraries is committed, including sustainability, transparency, openness, inclusivity, and accountability. For example, pricing of individual Springer titles is not transparent under the existing contract. Additionally, 85% of the Springer titles in the collection had an average of 100 or fewer uses from 2019-2022. Given the uncertainty of university funding, it is no longer possible for the Libraries to sign multi-year contracts for large journal packages.
Journals will be evaluated using factors that include librarian subject expertise, article usage, journal cost data, VCU’s research focus, journal and article impact data, and VCU author publication data. Every effort will be made to retain highly used titles and those that exhibit a high value. While it is true that VCU will be losing access to a large number of journals that receive use, alternative means of access to content will continue to allow faculty and students to get the resources they need for research, clinical care and teaching.