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K-State Today

May 2, 2018

In face of collections cuts, K-State Libraries ask for feedback from faculty and campus community

Submitted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt

K-State Libraries are planning for annual inflation on library materials and anticipating budget reductions. These two factors will likely result in the nonrenewal of some subscriptions.

"Even though we negotiate for the best rates possible, increases in the cost of our subscription materials accumulate year after year," Dean Lori Goetsch said.

For example, from 2010 to 2018, package prices from just five major publishers have increased by over a half million dollars, or more than 25 percent. Additionally, during the same time frame, budget cuts in the K-State Libraries have resulted in a reduction of nearly $600,000; this has significantly diminished the purchasing power of the K-State Libraries, necessitating resource cancellations to maintain a balanced budget.

A list of items under consideration for potential nonrenewal is currently available on the K-State Libraries website. Input from the K-State community is strongly encouraged, and a feedback form is also available online. The feedback form will remain open until May 18.

While we recognize that the spring and summer months are inconvenient times to request faculty feedback, library resource subscription cycles do not typically align with the academic year. Difficult decisions are made during these months, as renewal invoices are sent and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Looking forward, K-State faculty members can help preserve items they value by following a few steps to ensure that librarians have accurate usage data.

For example, instead of uploading a PDF file of a journal article to K-State Online, instructors can share a permalink — an unchanging, stable hyperlink — with their students. Then, when students use the link to access the material online at the source — e.g., in a database or other subscription-based service — librarians will see the true demand for that content.

In other words, instead of the course generating a single instance of access that would be recorded when the instructor downloaded the PDF, dozens or even hundreds of instances of access are created when the students click the permalink.

Directions for creating a permalink are available online through a Research Guide. If you need additional assistance, contact us via our Ask a Librarian service.

Finally, K-State Libraries encourage the K-State community to support open access initiatives, including publishing in open access journals that make vital research available with no subscription cost to the public or sharing your research outputs in an easily accessible repository such as the K-State Research Exchange, or K-REx.

If you have questions about collections cuts, please contact Goetsch at 785-532-7400 or lgoetsch@k-state.edu.

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