Spending reductions for information resources

Due to budget constraints and annual inflation increases levied by publishers on subscriptions, the University Libraries have had to reduce spending on information resources by about $500,000 annually since fiscal year 2020-21. These cancellations are necessary to address annual inflationary increases in the cost of existing subscriptions and to make room for any new strategic subscriptions. Take a look at the Libraries' budget overview and our strategies for managing the Information Access Budget (IAB).

Why reductions are needed

About 90% of our IAB is spent on subscriptions to journals, electronic packages, databases, or other information resources that have recurring costs and inflationary increases that average 4% to 5% each year. Ongoing annual inflation requires that we reduce IAB expenditures by approximately $500,000 each year to maintain a balanced budget. 

(To learn more about inflation's impact on library budgets, see "Serials Price Projections 2020", Five Year Journal Price Increase History (2015-2019), and "Deal or No Deal: Periodicals Price Survey 2019.")

Resources that will be canceled in FY22

After having received and carefully considered feedback from across campus on a list of potential cancellations, we have settled on a final list of information resources that will be canceled or significantly renegotiated in fiscal year 2021-22 to meet the budget reduction. Review the list.

Guiding principles influencing these decisions

We recognize these reductions will impact UA faculty and students, and we’re committed to minimizing that as much as possible. For the 2020-22 round of cuts, we looked primarily at content that overlaps with existing resources or is available through alternative means of access (e.g., interlibrary loan). Other criteria included usage data, cost per use (relative to similar content/resources), and centrality of the content to the discipline. We also considered the collective impact of the reductions across disciplines and attempted to be as equitable as possible. 

What you should know

  • Final decisions on cancellations were made by the Senior Information Resources Officer and approved by the Dean of University Libraries.
  • Cancellations will go into effect at various times in fiscal year 2021-22, depending on the end dates for current licenses. Because resources come up for renewal throughout the fiscal year, some resources will be canceled on or before July 2021, while we may retain access to others as late as June 2022.
  • Because we do not expect an increase to our information access budget in fiscal year 2022-23, we are planning to repeat this process next year to reduce spending by another ~$500,000 — the amount required to cover inflation (~4%) on the information resources we purchase for campus. While we know this will be difficult, we are committed to being good stewards of the dollars allocated to us for this purpose and doing all we can to meet the information access needs of our students, faculty, and researchers.
  • You can contact Michael Brewer, our Senior Information Resources Officer, if you have questions or concerns.