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K-State Today

February 5, 2019

Feb. 12 open forum to address subscription costs and their local impact

Submitted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt

In a joint statement released on Jan. 29, Provost Chuck Taber and Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch announced a moratorium on all new library materials spending through the end of FY 2019 to balance the budget.

The moratorium and related budget challenges are largely the result of an international crisis in academic publishing and the skyrocketing rates of subscription materials.

For a deeper understanding of the serials crisis and what it means for K-State, join Goetsch and Joelle Pitts, head of content development, at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building. Their brief presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The forum will be available via Zoom, and a recording will be posted on the Libraries website.

"The serials crisis places academic libraries all over the world in an untenable position: They will be forced to enact cuts as long as publishers continue to raise their rates by six percent — and even more — on an annual basis," Goetsch said. "Those cuts, in turn, will hurt researchers. We can start talking about this reality now and decide how we want to move forward, or, as a recent article on this topic put it, we face death by 1,000 cuts."

Shortly after the forum, librarians will be reaching out to faculty and departments to learn more about each area's current teaching and research needs. We strongly encourage departments to meet with their librarian. These discussions will inform decisions regarding cancellations and print research materials later in the semester. Unfortunately, this will be the single largest cancellation to date.

The Feb. 12 open forum and the ensuing discussions with K-State librarians will lay the groundwork for an ongoing conversation regarding researchers’ continued access to the materials and services they need.

"We envision this as the first of many conversations," Pitts said. "We're planning a series under the umbrella of 'Publishing, Access and the Future of Academic Research' so we can gain common understanding of what's at stake for the campus community. I see it as an important first step in working together to navigate a rapidly changing landscape."

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