September 24, 2017

California State University Libraries Drop System-Wide Subscription to Wiley E-Journals Collection

Here’s a portion of a statement explaining the California State University (CSU) libraries recent decision to drop a Wiley journal package (1300+ titles) from the California State University Council of Library Deans.

The statement is titled: “Equitable Access, Public Stewardship, and Access to Scholarly Information.”

The twenty-three libraries serving nearly 500,000 students and scholars at California State University’s diverse campuses are firmly committed to their mission of providing equitable access to academic and professional information resources to every student and scholar.  We are equally committed to the principle of responsible stewardship of the public funds entrusted to us to meet our mission of service to these students and scholars.

It is therefore with deep regret that we share the news with our colleagues and the students and faculty we serve, that on December 19, 2014, we made the decision not to continue, as a system, to provide system-wide access to a collection of over 1300 electronic journals published by a major publisher of scholarly and professional journals, John Wiley and Company.

We were unable to reach an agreement with Wiley and Company that met our fundamental goal of providing equitable access to information across all 23 campuses.  The terms offered to the CSU by Wiley and Company would have cost more than many of our campuses could afford.  This meant that several campuses would be forced to cancel their subscriptions, and that these campuses’ share of the total package costs would be remanded to other campuses. This was not acceptable to us.

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The CSU libraries offered to maintain their system-wide license with a smaller package of several hundred electronic journals that would have met both these core principles: equitable access, and responsible stewardship.  This offer was rejected by Wiley and Company.

While we were unable to reach an agreement with Wiley and Company to implement this smaller package license at this time, we remain hopeful that we can reach agreement with Wiley and Company by or before January 2016 to license a smaller number of journals that have been determined to be of the most importance to students and scholars in the CSU system, based on data analysis and close consultation with CSU faculty and scholars.

The statement goes on to mention other academic institutions that have dropped journal packages and provides several resources and articles.

The statement concludes:

The CSU libraries understand that all scholars and faculty, as well as students and academic leaders, have crucial roles to play both as producers and consumers of scholarly information.  Their research, advocacy, and initiative are vital in seeking and supporting sustainable paths for scholarly publishing that do not result in a world of scholarly haves and have-nots; and that do not result in their libraries spending scarce public resources on products that do not benefit their students and faculty.

Direct to Full Text Statement (via CalState.edu)

Direct to CSU Libraries Network Website

List of CSU Libraries

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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