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Subscription Review Update 9/22: Revised cancellation target and Wiley journals

September 22, 2021

I am writing today to provide you with an update on UW Libraries’ plan to maintain access to the most highly-used Wiley journals. As we have communicated at various times to the UW community and FCUL, this adjustment is part of ongoing efforts to rationalize our spending and maintain high levels of effectiveness and efficiency.

At the Faculty Council on University Libraries (FCUL) May 12, 2021 meeting, the UW Libraries provided a recap on the COVID pivot to remote and 2020-2021 subscription review. Over the summer, UW Libraries were notified by the Office of Planning and Budgeting that there would be no additional COVID-19 budget reduction. The Libraries also received permanent Provost Reinvestment Funds to partially maintain Libraries serial purchasing power and enable transformative agreements supporting faculty OA publishing. As a result, we have been able to reduce the subscription review cancellation target from $1.5 million (see 2/10 update) to $800,000.

The original size of the cancellation target necessitated that we include some of our “big deal” journal packages in the review. With the reduced target we were able to narrow that journal package review to one publisher. The UW Libraries recently reviewed about 1,400 Wiley journal titles licensed by UW. The total cost for the Wiley journal package is about $1.3 million per year, an average cost of $1,363 per journal. Usage statistics reveal that a majority of Wiley journals are not heavily used, with per-article download costs exceeding the cost to provide a copy of those articles through interlibrary loan.

Reducing the Wiley e-journal package to continue direct access to titles whose use-adjusted-cost justifies that access will allow the UW Libraries to recoup approximately $500,000 annually. We will retain 400 of the most highly used journals. The remaining 1,000 journals will be cancelled (see proposed cancellation list) as of 2022. We retain access to backfiles of the ejournals, including those in JSTOR. Our calculations indicate that we will retain access to 92% of the usage of Wiley journal articles. The content of many of these 1,000 journals can also be found within other resources such as Academic Search Complete, Communication Source, or is available open access in Pubmed Central (PMC) and other open access repositories. As we have always done for articles from unsubscribed journals, we will continue to acquire needed articles via interlibrary loan. Please provide your comments regarding individual titles by October 12, 2021, see instructions for submitting feedback on the page.

If you have specific questions about this process, we encourage you to reach out to FCUL voting faculty or your Libraries Subject Librarian.


Denise Pan

Associate Dean of University Libraries for Collections and Content