The UNC Health Sciences Library (HSL) is preparing for reductions to the FY 2010/2011 acquisitions budget. As a result, we are again reviewing all areas of purchasing and asking publishers to keep price increases to a minimum for 2011. However, the primary strategy for finding reductions is to continue the 2009 comprehensive review of active journal subscriptions. Approximately 95 percent of HSL’s acquisitions budget is spent on journal or database subscriptions. To achieve budget reductions we must lower this recurring annual expense through targeted cancellations.
Last year, 670 users helped us evaluate our subscriptions and we need even more help this year. During the next couple of months we plan to post a list of potential journal cancellations and to ask for feedback. Here is some preliminary information about this review effort, which is also available via the Journal Review homepage:
Our goal is the same as for 2009: to keep as much valued content available as possible, minimizing negative impact on our community of users, while still achieving our budget reduction targets. Please keep checking the Journal Review homepage for updates and changes, and your opportunity to provide feedback. We value all feedback received and use it to help make the best decisions possible.
The 2009 review process helped greatly to reduce recurring annual expenses. Through extensive feedback from the UNC Chapel Hill Health Affairs community and beyond, and through aggressive negotiations with journal publishers for better pricing, we were able to cancel only 58 titles. We also implemented other changes to save costs, such as converting more journal subscriptions from print plus online to online only. However, these savings will not carry the HSL through another budget reduction in 2010/2011, so the comprehensive review continues.
While the need to reduce the acquisitions budget is driven partly by current economic conditions, carrying out a journals cancellation review is normal library practice, done most recently in 2009 and 2003. Furthermore, our acquisitions budget cannot keep pace with the annual price increases for journals in the health sciences, as the average cost of a health sciences journal is now $1,400.