This paper will be presented at the World Library and Information Congress: 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly on August 17, 2011.
Authors: Maureen Weicher and Tian Xiao Zhang (St. John’s University Library, Queens, NY, USA)
Many academic libraries subscribed to publishers’ Big Deal or bundled ejournal packages with expectations of significantly expanded access for relatively small increases over historical expenditure levels. In exchange, libraries often agreed to multi-year commitments with built-in annual price increases. For bundled deals renewed on a year-to-year basis, libraries may be faced with the loss of the majority of the collection if spending thresholds are not met. As budgets stagnate or shrink in difficult financial times, there are legitimate concerns whether these expensive deals are driving libraries to forgo needed resources in exchange for a list of titles with marginal value to patrons.
In this paper, we address our library’s experiences beginning to unbundle one publisher’s Big Deal, using a mix of individual ejournal subscriptions and patron driven acquisition (PDA) of individual articles. We will discuss our initial experiences implementing access tokens for “just in time” purchase of individual articles from Wiley-Blackwell. Will it be possible to provide a similar or higher level of access while spending less? How will usage patterns
change when users can access titles (or certain years within these titles) that previously were off limits? We will provide preliminary findings on our attempt to rein in costs by unbundling the Big Deal and better serve our academic community’s need for access to a wide range of timely and relevant research.