May 18, 2022

Datasets: Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Release 2019-2020 Journal Subscription Cost Data and Earlier Data

From a CARL Announcement:

Back in 2018, Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) members jointly released for the first time their journal subscription cost data for collections and packages negotiated by Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), as part of their commitment to greater transparency of licensing information. Today, CARL’s university library members have once again released their expenditure data for journal and database subscriptions licensed through CRKN.

The current release, which is accessible via the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR), covers subscription costs for 2019-2020.

At this time we are also releasing two earlier datasets, from 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, meaning that data is now available for a six-year period (2014-2015 to 2019-2020 inclusive).

CARL President Jonathan Bengston notes, “CARL believes in the importance of having the scholarly community understand the scope of current and historical spending on subscription journals, and we appreciate the efforts of researchers who are studying these data closely, both within Canada and internationally.”

The datasets and associated summary tables that have been released detail expenditure costs of all CARL member university libraries for key CRKN subscriptions for 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2019-2020. The data is not comprehensive of all their licensed subscriptions.

Click to access 2014-2015 data set

Click to access 2015-2016 data set

Click to access 2019-2020 data set

Important considerations to interpreting the data

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.