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Describes why Stanford Libraries is not signing some package deals.
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Scholarly Communication and Publishing Issues

What Stanford is Doing: Package Deals

Why We Are Not Signing Some Package Deals

  • Societies as well as commercial publishers sell journals in packages. Packages typically include discounts over buying individual titles; capped annual price increases for multi-year agreements, enhanced online access, and better usage statistics. In exchange for these benefits, libraries are prohibited from canceling or are only able to cancel 1-3% of the titles in any given year. While buying titles in packages may offer bulk discounts, it eliminates the ability to select individual titles and thus focus resources most closely to local academic needs.
  • As journals published by societies have the most important/core titles and are among the most heavily used titles on campus, it is essential that we continue to acquire packages produced by societies in the future. Smaller societies are banding together to offer combined or aggregated services as they lack the resources to offer digital versions individually.
  • Most journals published by commercial publishers have a much higher average cost per title than titles published by societies. Thus, journal packages by commercial publishers tend to be expensive. If increases in the budget allocation do not keep pace with price increases, libraries end up having to cut subscriptions that are not sold in packages or reducing other types of purchases.
  • Because we belong to the Northeastern Regional Library (NERL) Consortia, we are able to acquire all journals from a publisher even though as long as any one member has a subscription but this requires signing a package deal. Discounts from acquiring a title or a package via NERL have helped us stretch our collection dollars and expand access to resources on campus.
  • Peer institutions have signed agreements for packages that put Stanford researchers at a competitive disadvantage. Due to recent budgetary pressures, an increasing number of institutions are rejecting journal packages. Many of the top research institutions continue to have deep access to digital versions of journals that includes purchasing back volumes for titles. Migrating to digital versions has been critical because many lack growth space in their facilities. It’s bricks or bytes …

Last modified: July 3, 2007

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