May 19, 2022

Florida State University Announces Plan to Cancel “Big Deal” Contract with Elsevier

From an Post/Statement by Julie Zimmerman, Dean of Florida State University Libraries:

The Florida State University Libraries, after long deliberation, are planning to cancel FSU’s comprehensive “big deal” subscription to Elsevier journals. Instead, the Libraries will subscribe to a subset of most-needed journals, as identified by faculty and usage statistics. This change will take place in January 2019.


The exceptionally high and ever-increasing cost of the Elsevier “big deal” has made it unsustainable. Florida State University currently pays just under $2 million a year, and the cost increases by at least 4% annually.

FSU is being charged too much — all because of a poorly thought-out 20-year-old contract between Elsevier and the State University System. Through this contract, UCF pays less than $1M for the exact same product. FIU pays just over a million. USF pays about $1.5 million.


Over the last 8 years, FSU’s provosts and I have tried every possible way to negotiate a reduction to FSU’s disproportionately high cost, without success. A partial cancellation is our only remaining option.

Much of the demand for articles will be met seamlessly through individually subscribed titles. For unsubscribed content, access will be available by (1) interlibrary loan delivery to the desktop guaranteed within 24 hours (no cost); or (2) expedited delivery within minutes ($30, subsidized by the library.)

Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Report from Lindsey McKenzie at Inside HigherEd

Thanks to Krista C. for Tip

UPDATE: Comments About Cancellation by Brandon Butler, Library Director of Information Policy  at the University of Virginia

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.