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LSU Libraries, Faculty Senate consider responses to rising journal costs

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With LSU Libraries’ Elsevier journal package up for renewal at the end of 2019, librarians and teaching and research faculty across LSU are in dialogue about the costs of keeping—or cancelling—the subscription bundle.  If renewed, the 1846 journals in the collection will come with a price tag of $2 million, a continuation of the serials price inflation that has been rapidly outpacing budget increases and forcing the Libraries to chip away at allocations for important resources like books and databases.

On Tuesday, April 23, the LSU Faculty Senate will vote on Resolution 19-05, which recommends cancellation of the LSU Libraries’ subscription to the bundle of Elsevier journals and adoption of a subscription model that would involve subscribing to titles in an à la carte manner, allowing the Libraries to narrow its Elsevier journal subscriptions to journals that are the most appropriate for LSU’s needs. While the move would free the Libraries from the cost increases to the package deal, it would also mean a large cut in the number of journal titles for the university. Stanley Wilder, dean of LSU Libraries, has formed a task force to explore potential consequences, anticipate future actions for the Libraries, and prepare to mitigate problems resulting from a large scale cancellation.

Jacob Fontenot, head of Interlibrary Loan and member of the task force, has spent months researching and testing expedited delivery options for journal articles. “Our delivery time for journal articles is already fast,” says Fontenot. “A recent analysis of 1061 requests from the College of Agriculture reveals that 87% of them were met in under 48 hours, with 31% being met in less than 4 hours.” If the cancellations are made, researchers can expect an even quicker response time with a new expedited delivery service called Reprints Desk. “With Reprints Desk we anticipate filling requests within 2 hours, even outside of business hours,” says Fontenot.

LSU Libraries is not alone. In recent years, rising costs of journal subscriptions have motivated dozens of US university libraries and numerous European scholarly societies and universities to cancel subscriptions to “big deal” journal packages, the name for bundles of journals large publishers offer to libraries at discounted prices compared to the individual costs for each journal.  The University of California System, Florida State University, and Temple University have already canceled or announced plans to cancel their big deals with Elsevier, the biggest and most expensive of the journal publishers. Libraries have also canceled big deals with Springer, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and others.

Sigrid Kelsey is the Director of Library Communications and Publications at the LSU Libraries.

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2019

Comeaux, Dave;  Emily Frank; and Mike Waugh. “Supporting Student Success: E-books as Course Materials,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Haber, Natalie, Melissa Cornwell, & Andrea Hebert. “This worksheet works: Making the DLS Standards work for you.” College & Research Libraries News

Lounsberry, Megan. “No Textbooks Allowed! (Unless You’re a Graduate Student!): Louisiana State University Pilots an ILL Textbook Service. Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.

Miles, John David. “Colfax, Kate Grant, and the Domestication of Reconstruction’s Violence,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 2 (Spring 2019).

Miles, John David. “The Loyalty of West Point’s Graduates Debated,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 1 (Winter 2019).

Miller, Marty. “Curriculum, Departmental, and Faculty Mapping in the Visual Arts Department,” Art Documentation, Volume 38, p 159-173 Issue 1 (March 2019).

O’Neill, Brittany; and  Allen LeBlanc. “Evaluating Trends in Instruction Scheduling Management: A Survey of Louisiana’s Academic Libraries,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Russo, Michael, “The Moon Belongs to Everyone:  ResearchGate and Subscription Databases Compared.”  Louisiana Libraries. Winter 2019 (v. 81, no. 3).

Russo, Michael, “Information Literacy through Service Learning”  in Library Collaborations and Community Partnerships: Enhancing Health and Quality of Life.  Fannie M. Cox, Henry R. Cunningham, and Vickie Hines-Martin, eds., 2019.

Simms, Sarah; Hayley Johnson. “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 64 Parishes (Magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities). Issue 4, Summer 2019. https://64parishes.org/hidden-in-plain-sight

Simms, S., & Johnson, H. (2019). Subtle activism: Using the library exhibit as a social justice tool. Alexandria. https://doi.org/10.1177/0955749019876119

Ziegler, Scott; and Cara Key. “More Than a Pretty Interface: The Louisiana Digital Library as a Data Hub,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

2018

Hebert, Andrea. “Information Literacy Skills of First-Year Library and Information Science Graduate Students: An Exploratory Study,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Volume 13, Issue 3 (September 2018).

Miller, Marty. “Sacred vs. Profane in The Great War: A Neutral’s Indictment: Louis Raemaekers’s Use of Religious Imagery in Adoration of the Magi and Our Lady of Antwerp.” Catholic Library World, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept. 2018, pp. 20–32.

Rasmussen, Hans. “The Life and Death of Raquette in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans,” Sport History Review 49 (May 2018): 23-38.

Wilder, Stanley. “Delayed Retirements and the Youth Movement among ARL Library Professionals,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Hiring and Staffing Trends in ARL Libraries,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Selected Demographic Trends in the ARL Professional Population,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Ziegler, Scott; and Richard Shrake. “PAL: Toward a Recommendation System for Manuscripts,” Information Technology and Libraries, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2018).

2017

Caminita, C.; Cook, M.; and Paster, A. (2017). Thirty years of preserving, discovering, and accessing U.S. agricultural information: Past progress and current challenges. Library Trends, 65(3), 293-315.

Dauterive, Sarah; John Bourgeois; and Sarah Simms. “How little is too little? An examination of information literacy instruction duration for freshmen.” Journal of Information Literacy, 11.1 (2017): 204-219.

Fontenot, Mitch; Emily Frank; and Andrea Hebert. “Going Where the Users Are: Three Variations on a Theme,” Louisiana Libraries, Fall 2017.

Hawk, Amanda K. “Highflying Crowdfunding: Creating a Successful Partnership with a Campus Donor,” Archival Outlook, July/August 2017: 12-13, 19. https://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=422988.

Hebert, Andrea; and Marty Miller. (2017). Using FSA-OWI photographs to teach information and visual literacy. Louisiana Libraries, 79(3), 19–25.

Johnson, Hayley. “#NoDAPL: Social Media, Empowerment, and Civic Participation at Standing Rock,” Library Trends, Fall 2017.

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