May 16, 2022

New Article: “The State of Large-Publisher Bundles in 2012”

The following article (pre-publication version) is scheduled to appear in the Spring 2013 issue of Research Library Issues published by ARL, CNI, and SPARC.


The State of Large-Publisher Bundles in 2012
(Prepub Version)


Karla L. Strieb
Associate Director for Collections, Technical Services and Scholarly Communications, Ohio State University Libraries

Julia C. Blixrud
Assistant Executive Director, Scholarly Communication, Association of Research Libraries


Research Library Issues #282
Spring 2013

From the Article

For well over a decade, research libraries have been spending millions of dollars per year licensing collections of journals published by just a handful of publishers. Ten years ago ARL surveyed its membership about their licensed collections of journal titles. In 2002, ARL asked for information regarding members’ expenditures for 60 journal publishers, ultimately reporting findings for the 7 most commonly subscribed publishers. In 2003, a second survey added further information about some licensing terms. ARL surveyed its members again in 2005 about their 2006 licenses with the 6 largest publishers at that time. Early in the summer of 2012, ARL again surveyed its member libraries about their subscriptions to journal collections from large publishers.The data collected in this most recent survey show that a great deal has changed in the last decade, and yet several issues remain concerns within the library community. Pricing models and license terms, consortial arrangements, and the conversion from print to electronic subscriptions remain issues across the surveys.

Read the Complete Article

A PDF Version of the Article (9 pages; PDF) is Also Available

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.