I’m writing to you today to bring you up to speed on some changes that are imminent in the library’s database subscriptions. First, and foremost, the library has spent the last year researching the costs and opportunities of replacing our Elsevier ScienceDirect subscriptions with a product or products from another vendor. The reason for this change is rising costs. Costs rise annually for all library subscriptions; however, Elsevier’s increases have been particularly large. Since the first year of our subscription in 2006, the price has risen every year by an average of 5.6% - nearly double the average inflation rate of competitors like EBSCOhost and ProQuest. After 15 years, Elsevier’s costs are now unsustainable. This is to the detriment of our programs, as maintaining this one subscription requires that we cancel others in order to afford it. Elsevier has been unresponsive to our attempts to negotiate. Therefore, we have decided to join the growing ranks of universities which are walking away from their Elsevier subscriptions - a group which now includes all of the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL). In freeing up these funds, we will be able to reinvest in new content that will support both the areas which relied upon Elsevier, as well as all other areas of the academy which have seen stagnant or shrinking electronic collections due to the rising financial burden of maintaining Elsevier.
The linked website gives more information and details the bundle packages which we have negotiated with ProQuest and Gale. There are some important dates to be aware of: Gale subscriptions are already active; ProQuest subscriptions will begin 1 July 2021; and the last day of our subscription with Elsevier will be 31 December 2021. We strongly encourage all faculty to examine their course reading lists over the summer to find access to content through the library’s continuing subscriptions; select alternate titles if needed; and replace the affected citations and permalinks in your syllabi and online classrooms.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to me, or to your liaison librarian.