The changing ecosystem
Over the past few decades, the cost of journal subscriptions has increased at a rapid rate, outpacing inflation and library budgets. In particular, large journal packages with major publishers - commonly referred to as "big deals" - are more and more financially unsustainable and under scrutiny. Libraries and institutions around the world are taking a stand against predatory models of publishing and cancelling their "big deal" contracts.
At the Mason Libraries, we are tracking these developments and, where we hold contracts in partnership with other Virginia institutions, we are working with them to negotiate a more sustainable model. With our Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) consortium colleagues, we recently concluded contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest science, technology, engineering, and math scholarly publisher. In conjunction with this process, and in light of constrained resources, we are reviewing our "big deal" spending and analyzing data for all subscriptions. We have gathered our annual costs and future projections for Elsevier and other major subscriptions for disclosure to our Mason community. If you have questions or comments regarding the Libraries' Elsevier negotiations and journal subscriptions, we welcome them here.
As part of a public institution, we are mindful of our role as responsible stewards of state funds as well as our commitment to ensure research is publicly available to advance knowledge for the benefit of our community and global society. Going forward, our aim is to demand and invest in less exploitative scholarly communications ecosystems, in which research is more publicly available - advancing knowledge for the benefit of all.