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re: online discussion on "bundled" subscriptions of journals for academic libraries

A comment on the topic of big deals:  Last fall the campuses across the
University of Wisconsin System, including Madison, cancelled a total of
$500,000 in Elsevier subscriptions, about 30 percent of our expenditures
with Elsevier at that time.  We have reinstated very few of those, and to
my knowledge we have received very few complaints from faculty members or
students.  Certainly that is true at Madison, where we cancelled $275,000
last fall, following several other significant cancellation exercises in
recent years.

Over 5 years, if Elsevier prices average a 6 percent increase every year,
the savings from last year's actions alone will total more than $2.8

We continue to evaluate the way we spend our limited (most often flat)
collection budgets every year.  We expect to cancel additional journals
from Elsevier and other commercial publishers.

If we had agreed to a big deal with Elsevier, we would not have the
ability to critically review and revise our collection spending every
year, and we would unnecessarily spend millions of scarce collection

Tom Murray
Director, Wendt Engineering Library
University of Wisconsin-Madison