January 23, 2022

Louisiana State University (LSU) Faculty Senate Plans Vote on Resolution that Recommends Cancellation of Elsevier Journal Package, Move to à la Carte Purchase Model

UPDATE MAY 20: LSU Formally Announces It Will No Longer Subscribe to Elsevier Package of 1800 Titles When Current Contract Expires at End of 2019 

UPDATE April 27: LSU Faculty Senate Approves Resolution With Only One No Vote
The full text of the resolution is found below and can also be accessed along with the minutes of the LSU Faculty Senate meeting here (see pages 4-5).

Full Text of Resolution (Standalone Document)

Whereas the cost of academic journals has increased 521% between 1986 and 2015, threatening the scholarly communication system in every discipline; and

Whereas journal expenses at the LSU Libraries currently consume 48% of its total budget, up from just 24% 10 years ago, which has resulted in an unacceptable decrease in library support for books, databases and other collections, staffing, and services; and

Whereas LSU’s current 5-year contract with the commercial publisher Elsevier expires at the end of 2019, at which point it will cost at least $2M/year; and

Whereas new document delivery technologies have become available, giving LSU alternatives to subscriptions that are fast, convenient, and free to users; and Whereas limiting expenditures for Elsevier journals will free up funding that will allow the Libraries to address long-standing collection deficiencies; and

Whereas similar initiatives are in progress this year at research institutions around the world,

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of Louisiana State University supports the LSU Libraries’ effort to reduce Elsevier expenditures, subscribe to specific Elsevier journals and replace cancelled journal subscriptions with expedited document delivery services.

See Also: Twitter Posts by LSU Libraries Director Stanley Wilder

Hat Tip: Brandon B.



From Louisiana State University Libraries:

With LSU Libraries’ Elsevier journal package up for renewal at the end of 2019, librarians and teaching and research faculty across LSU are in dialogue about the costs of keeping—or cancelling—the subscription bundle.  If renewed, the 1846 journals in the collection will come with a price tag of $2 million, a continuation of the serials price inflation that has been rapidly outpacing budget increases and forcing the Libraries to chip away at allocations for important resources like books and databases.

On Tuesday, April 23, the LSU Faculty Senate will vote on Resolution 19-05, which recommends cancellation of the LSU Libraries’ subscription to the bundle of Elsevier journals and adoption of a subscription model that would involve subscribing to titles in an à la carte manner, allowing the Libraries to narrow its Elsevier journal subscriptions to journals that are the most appropriate for LSU’s needs.


Jacob Fontenot, head of Interlibrary Loan and member of the task force, has spent months researching and testing expedited delivery options for journal articles. “Our delivery time for journal articles is already fast,” says Fontenot. “A recent analysis of 1061 requests from the College of Agriculture reveals that 87% of them were met in under 48 hours, with 31% being met in less than 4 hours.” If the cancellations are made, researchers can expect an even quicker response time with a new expedited delivery service called Reprints Desk. “With Reprints Desk we anticipate filling requests within 2 hours, even outside of business hours,” says Fontenot.

Read the Complete Blog Post

See Also: Minutes of March 20, 2019 LSU Faculty Senate Meeting
Resolution introduced and discussed on pages 6-8.

See Also: ROUNDUP: University of California Decides Not to Renew Systemwide Contract with Elsevier

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.