Library Journal Cancellation Project

Journal Cancellation Project FAQ

Why is $200,000 the target dollar amount?

Without any changes to our journal list, expenditures are projected at $1,000,000 with additional inflation of at least $60,000. With a flat budget, we must decrease the journal budget just to balance the inflation rate of 6 to 12 percent.

Does the Library have a collection development policy?

Yes. View it here:

Has the library previously done a cancellation project?

The last cancellation project was in 1992. Cancellation projects in academic libraries are a normal practice for controlling journal expenditures; often, libraries have cancellation projects every 5 years or less.
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When will the cancellations take effect?

In most cases the cancellations will take effect January 2013.

How do I get an article if the journal has been cancelled?

Go to Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request a journal article. ILL website:

How long does it take to get articles through Interlibrary Loan?

Most journal articles can be sent to your desktop, often within 24 to 48 hours
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Are there alternatives other than Interlibrary Loan for access to cancelled journals?

Many of our journal titles are also included in aggregator databases, such as Academic Search (EBSCO). This means even though we cancel a title, access would, in many cases, still be available through these databases. Many of the titles, however, are embargoed for 6 to 12 months. In addition, since we subscribe to the database rather than the journal title, the journal publisher could remove the title from the database without warning.

What is an aggregator database?

An aggregator database includes full-text journals to which the library may or may not directly subscribe. Instead, the library subscribes to the database and receives access for these journals, whether or not the library also has a direct electronic or print subscription for the journal. The database vendor negotiates with the journal publisher to include this content; however, depending on the terms of the contract, the journal publisher may embargo the most recent content in order to encourage direct subscriptions, and may also pull the titles from the database.

What is an embargo for journal titles?

With embargoed journal titles, the publisher delays access for the most recent issues, typically for 6 to 12 months. This means you have access through databases for past issues, but the most recent issues aren’t available. The benefit is you have access to many titles to which we don’t subscribe directly; the downside is, the most recent issues often aren’t available.
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In order to meet the target reduction, would the library ever consider cancelling journals, choosing instead to rely on titles in aggregator databases?

Since journals in aggregator databases are not stable, the library’s policy has been not to cancel journals and rely on subscribed databases to provide access. Should the budget situation worsen, however, this is an option that could be considered.

Why is the library concentrating on journals?

The current rate of inflation for journals ranges between 6 to 12 percent. In order to keep journal expenditures from subsuming the entire budget, in which case we wouldn’t be able to purchase books, e-books, DVDs, or e-resources, we must reduce the journal budget.

Is the library looking at any other areas besides journals to cut costs?

The library is reviewing all expenditures, including electronic resources, books, non-print materials, and standing orders. In addition, the library has already substantially reduced student assistant expenditures, which come out of the library’s operating budget, by hiring work study students in place of non-work study students and graduate assistants.

Whom should I contact for more information?

Contact Mary Gilbert, Assistant University Librarian for Content Management at 410-704-4926 or

Journal Cancellation Project FAQs / Albert S. Cook Library
Last revised: May 03, 2012

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