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REF NO.: 51

SUBJECT: Memorial Libraries completes collections consultation for 2016

DATE: Feb. 1

Memorial Libraries has finalized a list of journal subscriptions from four publishing packages it will retain for 2016 following an extensive review and consultation with faculty, students and senior university administration.

The list of subscriptions can be accessed at

Memorial Libraries provides access to approximately 80,000 journals. Five per cent of these journals, costing $1.4 million, are in the Cambridge, Oxford, Springer and Wiley publisher packages which were up for renewal in 2015.

Memorial Libraries will invest approximately $600,000 to retain the core journals included in these packages in 2016; the remaining savings will offset price increases and support the rest of the collection. In total, the libraries are cancelling approximately 1,700 titles, or two per cent of its current journal subscriptions.

As with other academic libraries across the country that are part of this complex situation, 85 per cent of Memorial Libraries resources’ are purchased in U.S dollars. As previously noted, despite a 25 per cent increase in funding for journal subscriptions over the past five years, from $6 million to $7.5 million, the rising cost of journal subscriptions (5-15 per cent annually) and the impact of the strengthening U.S. dollar have made it exceedingly difficult for Memorial Libraries to retain all journal subscriptions.

“Valuable dialogue continues to happen between the libraries, faculty and other stakeholders across Memorial,” said Louise White, interim university librarian. “We gathered feedback through a detailed survey, examined important library data, including user statistics, and the overlap with other resources, all to ensure any impact on research and teaching is mitigated.”

The libraries will find savings by cancelling publisher packages and re-purchasing individual journal titles, as well as providing access to many others through significantly less expensive intermediary companies (often with the current year embargoed), and by providing alternate access to cancelled journals through a digital document delivery service. Despite these measures, rising publisher costs and the currency exchange rate will continue to challenge the libraries’ buying power.


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For more information on the 2015-16 journal subscription review, please visit the Memorial University Libraries website at

For more information, please contact Kristine Power at or (709) 864-3188.


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