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Journal and Database Cancellations Project FY21

Information and resources related to Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies' ongoing Journal and Database Cancellations Project for fiscal year 2021


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Ayn Reineke


Journal and Database Cancellations Project Timeline:

January 2020: Project is announced to campus

February 2020: List of proposed cancellations is posted online

March - May 2020: Faculty and students provide feedback on proposed list

June 2020: Final list of cancellations is posted online

July 2020: Cancelled databases are discontinued*

July 2021: Cancelled journal titles are discontinued* 

*Please note that database and journal cut-off dates may vary as current contracts end.

Introduction to the Journal and Database Cancellations Project FY21

Welcome to the home of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies' Journal and Database Cancellations Project for fiscal year 2021.  Here, you will find resources and helpful information concerning our ongoing Journal and Database Cancellations Project. Please visit our FAQs and the List of Proposed Titles for Cancellation to learn why we are facing this challenge now, and most importantly, how you can provide input in the decision-making process.

The world of scholarly publishing is evolving, and we are taking positive, sustainable steps to evolve with it. We are committed to serving the Purdue campus community as a thriving, innovative research library now and into the future. Please explore this site to learn about the many ways we can connect you to the information resources you need without relying on an outmoded subscription model.


The Same Resources, Different Ways of Accessing Them

Cancellations is a frightening word, but it does not mean that you will lose access to the resources that you need for your teaching, research, or studies. By cancelling underused journal and database subscriptions, we are shifting the model of an effective, sustainable academic research library away from one of ownership to one of access. The information resources you need will still be available to you, but the route to access them will change.

Our streamlined Interlibrary Loan service will be your go-to source for many cancelled titles. By using ILL, you will still be able to access the articles you need when you need them, but they may be sourced from collections outside Purdue. Regardless of where your requested materials originate, we are committed to ensuring that you receive them in a timely manner, be it in print or electronic form. Reaching out to your liaison librarian when you need to source hard-to-find resources is also essential. Our liaison librarians are here to help you! 

The Rising Cost of Subscription Resources

Each year, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies negotiates with publishers and vendors to provide access to the databases and journals that advance Purdue University’s world-changing research and transformative instruction. Unfortunately, the cost of these resources rises by 4-8% annually, far outpacing the rate of inflation and the realistic constraints of university budgets. When we negotiate with publishers, we seek contracts that are affordable, sustainable, and transparent, but sometimes publishers insist on significant increases that far exceed available funding. Purdue is not alone in challenging these unsustainable increases- academic libraries of all sizes across the nation face the same reality.  See news from University of California at Berkeley, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Kansas State University, and University of Iowa for a few examples.

We have dealt with this problem for years, creatively minimizing the impact of subscription cancellations on our faculty and students as we continue good faith negotiations. Two years ago, here at Purdue we cancelled approximately $270,000 in journal and database subscriptions. This past year, through stopgap strategies like curbing book and digital archive purchases, we were able to avoid cancelling more. Unfortunately, to remain within our budget and be good stewards of University funds, fiscal year 2021 will bring with it a large cut to subscription resources to date, with a goal of cancelling $500,000 - $600,000 worth of titles.

We know that cancelling subscription titles creates challenges for our faculty, researchers, and students. Every effort will be made to retain the most heavily used subscriptions. We will help find alternate means of accessing information whenever possible, and encourage the use of services like Interlibrary Loan. We will deliver more articles upon request, in lieu of a reliance on institutional subscriptions.