May 18, 2022

New Preprint: "Deal or No Deal? : Evaluating Big Deals and Their Journals"


Deal or No Deal? : Evaluating Big Deals and Their Journals (38 pages; PDF)


Deborah D. Blecic (U. of Illinois at Chicago)
Stephen E. Wiberley Jr. (U. of Illinois at Chicago)
Joan Fiscella (U. of Illinois at Chicago)
Sara Bahnmaier-Blaszczak (U. of Michigan)
Rebecca Lowery (U. of Illinois at Chicago)


College and Research Libraries

The article was accepted for publication during December, 2011. The anticipated date for publication is January, 2013


This paper presents methods to develop metrics that compare Big Deal journal packages and the journals within those packages. Deal-level metrics guide selection of a Big Deal for termination. Journal-level metrics guide selection of individual subscriptions from journals previously provided by a terminated deal. The paper argues that while the proposed metrics provide helpful quantitative data for comparative analysis, selection of individual subscriptions must also involve informed judgment about a library’s subject coverage needs and alternative sources of access. The paper also discusses how replacing a Big Deal with a reduced number of individual subscriptions may affect the collections.

Direct to Full Text (38 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.