Collins Library Links: Leaving Elsevier, should we stay or should we go?


Leaving Elsevier, should we stay or should we go?

Many of you have no doubt read about the recent decision made by the University of California System Libraries to cancel their Elsevier journal subscriptions. This was highlighted in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article.  As a reaction to this decision, many libraries are issuing statements of support and concern as reflected in this Chronicle article: After the Elsevier ‘Tipping Point,’ Research Libraries Consider Their Options.  You may have questions about the status of the University of Puget Sound’s subscriptions with Elsevier and this email serves to provide you with information.

  •  The Collins Memorial Library does retain what we often refer to as a bundled (Big Deal) subscription package from Elsevier which provides access to full text journal content.
  • We also retain subscriptions to a number of journal packages offered by other scholarly publishers, Oxford, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley, in addition to collections from JSTOR and Project Muse.
  • We closely monitor the costs of these packages and every budget cycle review content and cost increases.
  • In some cases, we benefit from agreements that provide reduced costs as a result of our membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance.
  • Certainly over the last ten years, we have witnessed a progressive increase in the cost of journals, as well as publishers efforts to bundle subscriptions giving libraries limited choices in how they provide access to scholarly information.

Where do we stand?

We endorse the statement that was recently issued by the University of Washington Libraries, which focuses on three core concepts: sustainability, equity and user-centeredness.

  • We must build collections and provide access to information that clearly supports the teaching and research needs of our Puget Sound community, while also being sustainable.
  • We must be good stewards of the funds allocated to the library, balancing the needs of our students and faculty while remaining fiscally responsible.
  • We advocate for and support open access to information as our colleagues at UW have so eloquently stated:  “We view access to information as a social justice issue, and for-profit publishers’ unsustainable pricing models, demand for nondisclosure agreements and insistence on paywalls hinders the pursuit of knowledge, impedes our support of an informed citizenry and restricts research for the public good.”
  • We know how important it is to have a dialog with you about these issues to ensure that we continue to meet the scholarly information needs of our community.

As we look towards the next academic year, we invite you to join in a conversation with us about the future of scholarly information and publishing.

Best wishes,


Need Information? Don’t forget the Collins Memorial Library – Library Guides
Questions? Contact your liaison librarian
Comments: Contact Jane Carlin, library director
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