On January 14, the Université de Montréal (UdeM) libraries announced that they are cancelling their subscriptions to 1,142 of 1,510 periodicals in the Wiley Online Library at the end of the month. New issues of the cancelled titles will no longer be available online to the UdeM community, but access to earlier issues will be maintained.
This action results from a process that started a long while ago. The financial cut-backs imposed by the Québec government only accelerated the decision process. The result of the analysis is simple: libraries have been driven to the wall because of the yearly rise of subscriptions to periodicals that hover between 3% and 6%. They cannot go on cutting back the acquisition of monographs to compensate for such price increases. As a result, this conclusion, as well as the adopted solution, would have been the same a few years down the line, independently of the financial context.
Please note that libraries at McGill University also subscribe to the periodicals owned by John Wiley & Sons. In 2014, the Université de Montréal pays as much as McGill but can access only 368 periodicals while McGill benefits from full access to the 1510 titles in the Wiley collection. The publisher refuses to grant us the same conditions as McGill because – such is the pretext – McGill has subscribed to the Wiley Online Library longer. If, this year, the Université de Montréal wanted access to the full collection, it wouls have to add $243,000 (Canadian) to what McGill pays despite the fact that usage of Wiley periodicals at the Université de Montréal is 45% lower than at McGill
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