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Journal & Database (Serial) Cancelation Review Process 2019-2020


Why did We Review Local Journal Subscriptions for Possible Cancelation?

In 2018, the UC Libraries Journal & Database Cost Sharing Model Changed

  • The cost sharing model used to license and pay for UC systemwide journal packages and databases (e.g.: Wiley, Nature, Springer, JSTOR, America History & Life, ArtStor, etc.) is now based on campus FTE (a three year rolling average of FTE).​ 
  • The model is no longer based on a three year rolling average of campus collections expenditures.

Why Did it Change? 

  • For many years, UCSC and other lesser-funded campus libraries benefited from a model that, over time and continuous budget cuts, essentially subsidized lesser-funded campus libraries for having inadequate collections budgets and taxed better-funded campus libraries for having more appropriate collections budgets.  
  • The better-funded campus collection budgets no longer subsidize the underfunded campus collections budgets. Their budgets are being squeezed more than ever. In 2018, UCB took a $1 million cut to its collections budget, for example, and all of the libraries take a 6% cut to their collection budgets simply based on annual journal inflation rates. 
  • The FTE model is simple to understand, easier to manage/offers greater budgeting predictability, and follows standard practices used by many publishers for pricing resources.

What Does the Change Mean for UCSC?

  • The cost model change impacted our collection budget - we anticipated a maximum of $170,000 in additional costs (a little more than half of our local journal on-going funds).

What Has the Library Done to Meet this Budget Cut?

  • In the face of this cut, in order to mitigate the impacts on our collection budget and ensure that we could keep our systemwide journal subscriptions active (JSTOR, Wiley, Nature, etc.), the University Library worked with IRAPS and launched a local journal cancelation survey.
  • The survey was open to faculty, graduate students and staff from October 2018 through January 2019 and asked participants to assess the criticality of keeping local journal subscriptions active in support of current and near-term research and teaching needs.
  • In late fall 2018, the University Library made an ad hoc budget request to campus administration. As a result of that request, in November 2018, the University Library received permanent funding ($168,000) to cover the costs of the systemwide cost model increase. 
  • In December of 2018, the University reported the impacts of receiving the funding to COLASC.

Since the University Library Received Funding to Support the Cost Model Change, Why do We Still Need to Make Cancelation Decisions?

  • While welcome, appreciated and greatly needed, the funding is only enough to support the status quo of systemwide journal and database subscriptions and assumes no new content will be added and that costs for resources will remain steady.
  • The funding does not include:
    • new funding for books
    • new funding for annual inflationary increases for local subscriptions
    • new funding for new CDL-wide subscriptions of interest
    • funding for new local subscriptions of interest
    • funding to increase local contributions to systemwide database subscriptions if multiple campuses drop-out of a deal
    • new funding to support open access models
  • The funding increase does allow us to take more time with our local cancelation decisions and this means:
    • no local journal cancelations will be made this fiscal year
    • no local journal cancelations will be made until after the survey results have been analyzed, shared and discussed with COLASC/the Senate
  •  We will continue to use one time funding to fill in the existing collection budget gaps, use the new funding to keep our systemwide subscriptions active, and take our time assessing the survey results. We will also use this time for review and consultation with COLASC, the Senate and the broader campus community.

What is Happening with UC-Wide Subscribed Databases?

  • Databases are renewed and reviewed annually across the UC Libraries. Across the UC, librarians are reviewing database subscriptions. As renewal dates near, campuses will be announcing their intent to keep or cancel access.

NOTE: UCSC is making every effort to remain in systemwide databases throughout the next year so that the campus community may weigh in about the utility of the databases to our local research and teaching needs. However, because renewal dates are scattered throughout the year, other campuses in the UC may decide to drop out of systemwide deals. If more than 4 campuses elect to cancel, the likelihood that UCSC Library could subscribe on our own, even with the new funding received, is very, very, low. As these "cancelations by default" are announced, we will share that information with you on this webpage and we will send announcements to the Senate listserve.

UC-Wide Journal Package Renewals & Review (Examples of UC-wide journal packages: Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, Cambridge, GeoRef)

Some UC-wide journal packages will be reconfigured over the course of the next several years. To be  very clear, reconfigured can mean:

  • some titles will lose perpetual rights but stay in the package.
  • some titles will leave packages altogether (no access).
  • some new titles will be added to packages.

We will keep COLASC, the Senate and the broader campus community informed.


Current subscriptions (UCSC Google account required)

What's happening now?


  • Timeline for Decisions Updated May/June 2019
  • Local Journal Survey Launch 10/11/18 - CLOSED 1/19/19
  • Local subscription list updated with cost/usage metrics
  • Local subscription lists shared in April 2018
    • no decisions needed now
  • UC-wide database subscriptions under review shared
    • no decisions needed now
  • CDL managed & licensed subscription lists shared in May 2018
    • no decisions needed now

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