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K-State Today

May 16, 2019

K-State Libraries announce list of titles and resources for cancellation

Submitted by Sarah Hoyt

A list of subscription-based titles and databases that will not be renewed during fiscal year 2020 is now available online. Cancellations will occur as the contract for each title ends.

The cuts are in response to continued price increases by publishing companies. The financial burden has been compounded by ongoing campus budget reductions.

"These are not easy decisions, but we don't have a choice," said Lori Goetsch, dean of Libraries. "We have less money to spend, and yet publishing companies are increasing rates by six percent or more every year."

Since FY14, the Libraries have cancelled $731,000 worth of subscription materials. With this most recent round of cancellations, the collections budget has been reduced by an additional $645,000.

Because some subscription packages are included in multiyear deals, only certain titles could be considered for cancellation for fiscal year 2020. Earlier this spring, librarians narrowed the list down to $1.6 million worth of materials and asked the campus community to provide feedback.

In total, 435 K-State researchers provided more than 2,240 comments on approximately 500 of the 924 titles that were under consideration for cancellation.

"It was extremely helpful to have feedback about how the K-State community uses subscription materials in research and teaching," said Joelle Pitts, head of content development. "These are incredibly challenging decisions to make. At this point we've cut the collection so much that there are no 'easy' decisions left."

The latest round of cancellations comes after a semester during which K-State Libraries worked to raise awareness about the international serials crisis.

In late January, Provost Taber and Dean Goetsch issued a statement about the crisis. Then, a few weeks after Goetsch and Pitts hosted a Feb. 12 open forum to flesh out the Libraries' circumstances and position, the serials crisis made national news headlines. On Feb. 28, the University of California system announced that they had terminated their negotiations with Elsevier, the world's largest scientific publisher, as part of an effort to push for open access to publicly funded research.

"Obviously, as long as prices skyrocket, we won't be able to avoid cuts," said Adriana Gonzalez, head of academic services. "So our next step is to work with each department to identify alternate resources or alternate access points for titles that were not renewed and engage members of the campus community in a dialogue about open access. We're extremely grateful for our researchers' patience and engagement in this process."

Additionally, in order to affect change in this untenable scholarly publishing environment, K-State researchers and administrators can

• Submit scholarly work to K-State's institutional repository, K-REx.
• Publish in and use open and alternative resources.
• Adopt robust open access policies in colleges and departments.
• Reward early career faculty for publishing open access through tenure and promotion.
• Ask editorial boards and publishers they work with to consider sustainable publishing and pricing models.

Researchers can also help K-State Libraries' collection development librarians manage scarce resources by helping them collect comprehensive statistics of the actual demand for specific materials. For example, when a permanent article link is loaded in K-State Online rather than a PDF, every instance of usage is recorded. That allows librarians to make collection adjustments over time and build arguments for future allocation increases.

If you need assistance creating permalinks, incorporating permalinks in Canvas or identifying alternate resources, please contact your academic services librarian.

The Libraries welcome ongoing feedback regarding cancellations and the serials crisis in general. Please submit comments via our online survey  or contact Lori Goetsch or Joelle Pitts.