Journal Cancellation Project FY 2017

Journal Cancellation Project FAQ

Why is $350,000 the target dollar amount?

Without any changes to our journal list, journal expenditures are projected at $1,202,000 for FY17. With a flat budget, we must decrease journal expenditures just to balance the inflation rate of 6 to 12 percent and stay within our budget.

What criteria were used to identify titles for the proposed cancellation list?

Titles were proposed for cancellation if they meet the following:
  • Back issues available in JSTOR
  • Title available in an aggregator database without an embargo
  • Title available in an aggregator database with an embargo and cost per use above $50
  • Title not available electronically and cost per use above $100

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 2012. Cancellation projects in academic libraries are a standard practice for controlling journal expenditures; often, libraries have cancellation projects every few years, and in some cases annually.

When will the cancellations take effect?

In most cases the cancellations will take effect January 2017.

How do I get an article if the journal has been cancelled and there is no access through a subscribed database?

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

Are there alternatives other than Interlibrary Loan for access to cancelled journals?

Many of our journal titles are also included in JSTOR, Project Muse, or aggregator databases, such as Academic Search Complete (EBSCO). This means even though we cancel a title, access would, in many cases, still be available through subscribed 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 or consultation.

What is an aggregator database?

An aggregator database includes full-text journals to which the library may or may not directly subscribe. The library subscribes to the database and receives access to 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 to the most recent issues, typically for a rolling 6 to 12 months. This means you have access through the database for past issues, but the most recent issues aren’t available. The benefit is access to many titles to which we don’t subscribe directly; the downside is most recent issues often aren’t available.

Why is the library concentrating on journals for the expenditure reduction?

Not only do journal subscriptions consume the highest percentage of the collection budget, the current rate of inflation for journals, from 6 to 12 percent, ensures a continual rise in price, even without any changes to our journal list. In order to keep journal expenditures from consuming the entire budget, in which case we wouldn’t be able to purchase books, e-books, DVDs, or databases, we must reduce journal expenditures

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: October 12, 2016

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