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Against The Grain Journal

Charleston Library Conference 

Feb 22, 2022

Audio from the 2021 Charleston Library Conference from the session titled “On the Open Access Road Again: Is the value of the big deal declining?” presented by Michael Levine-Clark, Dean of Libraries, University of Denver; John McDonald, Director of Product Management, Assessment & Analytics, EBSCO Information Services; and Jason Price, Research & Scholarly Communication Director, SCELC Library Consortium, and moderated by Heather Staines, Senior Consultant, Delta Think.  

Faced with declining budgets and ever-increasing costs for journal subscriptions, academic libraries are reconsidering their approach to journal collection development. Big deal packages are often the main target of cancellation decisions, at least partly because of the perception that a growing proportion of their underlying articles is freely available--on the publisher site or elsewhere. If this is the case, then we would expect to see trends toward declining value (i.e. increasing cost per use) in CPU metrics that take freely available articles into account.

Building on recent presentations on proportion and/or value of open access, aggregator access, and post cancellation access, we’ll present data that examines 4 year trends in cost per use for one or more major journal publishers across a range of institutions. In addition to traditional cost per use, we’ll examine cost per publisher paid use (which eliminates publisher-hosted OA from the denominator) and highlight any differences in the direction or degree of these trends. Comparison of these metrics should provide insight into whether increasing open access publishing is reducing the value of the traditional big deal.

Video of the presentation available at: