January 19, 2022

University of California Libraries Discontinue Taylor & Francis Systemwide Journals License

From the California Digital Library:

Following a rigorous value assessment, the Libraries on the ten UC campuses and the California Digital Library (CDL) have discontinued their systemwide Taylor & Francis journals license in favor of local campus subscriptions effective January 1, 2013. Three important systemwide principles were the basis for the decision: achieving sustainable pricing, better aligning cost to value, and maintaining the highest quality journal content possible across a broad range of disciplines. Clear UC-focused value metrics by subject category combined with a structured, holistic review process encompassing all systemwide journal packages were used to inform this decision, which will save the Libraries nearly 45% over previously projected costs.

UC Libraries Holistic Journal Review
  • Severe budget challenges combined with continuing escalation in the cost of scholarly journals have required UC Libraries to seek economies in systemwide online journal expenditures. Since 2010, one package has been discontinued and several other packages have been scaled back to control costs.
  • A strategic and holistic approach to journal evaluation was undertaken in 2012 using objective, quantifiable, metrics that took into account multiple vectors of value. Comparisons of quality, utility and cost effectiveness were made across all journal publisher packages that UC licenses, focusing on packages that were up for renewal in 2013. An overview of this methodology is available in the February 2012 CDLINFO article “Calculating scholarly journal value through objective metrics.” http://www.cdlib.org/cdlinfo/2012/02/13/calculating-scholarly-journal-value-through-objective-metrics/
  • These metrics were used by the UC Libraries to facilitate fiscally responsible decision-making. Our approach sought to re-negotiate the cost of journals, where appropriate, to better align cost to value, and/or to restructure or scale back publisher packages through carefully targeted cancellations to match our available budget. The evaluation methodology carefully accounted for disciplinary differences to ensure that all disciplines of study at the university would be adequately supported. In addition, UC librarians on all 10 campuses did an extensive review of the Taylor & Francis journals using their subject expertise and knowledge of local library licensing practices.
Criteria as Applied to the Taylor & Francis Journals Package
  • The Taylor & Francis journal package was ranked as providing the least value of our major journal packages. Seventy-one percent of the Taylor & Francis journals were determined to provide lower value to UC’s faculty and researchers compared to titles in the same discipline from other publishers as measured by article usage, UC citation rates, and independent quality indicators such as journal impact factor, as well as cost.
  • [Our emphasis] Based on this analysis, a change in the valuation of the Taylor & Francis package was warranted. The UC Libraries sought to re-negotiate the overall cost of this package to better align its cost with the value obtained. After extensive negotiations, Taylor & Francis was unwilling to compromise on a reasonable reduction to the UC Libraries journals license. As a consequence, the Libraries regretfully decided to discontinue a shared systemwide license to Taylor & Francis journals.
  • Beginning with 2013, Taylor & Francis journals will now be selectively licensed at each UC campus based on local campus collection goals and priorities. Two thirds of our previous Taylor & Francis holdings will continue to be available at UC in some form. Converting our Taylor & Francis license to local campus subscriptions and eliminating many lower-value titles will save the Libraries nearly 45% over our previously projected costs, with significantly higher savings at some campuses.

Read the Complete Blog Post
Includes sections on “Continuing UC access to Taylor & Francis journals” and Future Assessment
Includes spreadsheet of all continuing journals and access details as of June 2013.

Direct to: UC Libraries Discontinue Taylor & Francis Systemwide Journals License

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.