Over the past few decades, academic journals have increasingly become consolidated (“bundled”) under a few large publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, and Taylor & Francis, in what are colloquially known as “Big Deals.”
Fifty-two (52) percent of the USF Libraries’ annual expenditures are committed to licensing these multi-year bundles.
Annually, the costs of the bundles increase from 3.5 to 6 percent; years of compounding annual cost increases have negatively impacted the USF Libraries.
In negotiations with publishers, cost increases are presented as “take it or leave it” propositions.
This is a global trend that mirrors the pattern previously seen in textbook costs.
The USF Libraries use a Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) strategy in which publishers provide an array of ebook records to the library catalog and ebooks that are electronically “checked-out” multiple times by USF faculty and students are then purchased by the library.
Ten (10) percent of the USF Libraries’ annual expenditures are committed to acquiring ebooks.
Once ebooks are purchased, they are owned by the USF Libraries with Perpetual Access available to the USF community.
Costs and annual rates of increase in ebooks are roughly parallel to those of the print books.
The USF Libraries provide access to an array of databases ranging from indexing sources to reference tools. We acquire these databases using both annual access agreements and outright purchase.
Twenty-six (26) percent of the USF Libraries’ annual expenditures are committed to acquiring or leasing databases.
Costs and annual rates of increase in databases are very modest (0-3%) in comparison to those prevalent in the ejournal bundles.
Like Netflix and other streaming content providers, the movies in Kanopy and Swank are leased for defined time periods.
At the end of the lease cycle (typically one year), we do not own the leased titles.
Use of Kanopy and other streaming media platforms has exploded, but recurring funding sources have not been established.
Absent recurring funding sources, the USF Libraries must discontinue leasing of streaming media, and refocus on purchases for permanent access.