January 23, 2022

Research Tools: SPARC’s New “Big Deal Knowledge Base” Reveals Details Behind Library Deals with Publishers


SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has released a new tool to help libraries compare the details involved in contract negotiations with journal publishers.

The Big Deal Knowledge Base is a resource with thousands of pricing details from library Big Deals.

Developed in collaboration with SPARC member libraries, it can be used by libraries to reduce the information asymmetry that typically plagues publisher negotiations. It can be downloaded and is searched able and downloadable across a number of dimensions, including publisher, Carnegie classification, and FTE. The Big Deal Knowledge Base also contains unredacted license agreements, advice on pushing back against confidentiality clauses and non-disclosure agreements, guidance on filing Freedom of Information requests to surface more licensing terms, and insights into how libraries have successfully navigated the Big Deal cancellation process.


This new resource is an extension of SPARC’s ongoing work to save libraries money on Big Deals. It complements SPARC’s popular Big Deal Cancellation Tracker and marks the next phase in its actions towards a post-Big Deal world.

Direct to Complete News Release

Direct to Big Deal Knowledge Base

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.