After receiving and carefully considering feedback from the campus community, the UI Libraries has published a finalized list of cancelled subscriptions to journals, databases, and e-books. These are resources that have been eliminated due to low use, high cost per use, and/or lack of strategic importance to research areas.

As a result of this project, the Libraries reached its budgetary goal, saving $600,000.

We appreciate the thoughtful responses we’ve received, which, in some cases, have resulted in retaining titles that otherwise would have been cancelled. Your feedback helped us make the best decisions possible for our students, faculty, researchers, and staff.

Although the list of cancelled subscriptions is final for this renewal period, we will continue to monitor requests for titles and we will also keep an eye on any changes in subscription costs. Both variables will inform decisions during the next subscription renewal period.

View final list of cancellations by title

View final list of cancellations by discipline

Project Overview

Every academic year, the University of Iowa Libraries works to offset increases in the costs of information resources. Like our peer university libraries, our strategy is to minimize the impact of inflation by continuously monitoring the use of the collection to identify and eliminate journals, databases, and e-books that:

  • are low-use;
  • carry a high cost per use;
  • duplicate content available from other sources.

In years past, these monitoring processes, along with reductions in spending on printed books, have enabled UI Libraries’ collection management team and liaison librarians to counter rising costs. However, during the 2019-2020 academic year, subscription costs were set to increase five to seven percent, and we found it difficult to identify further spending reductions. The UI Libraries needed to identify $600,000 in subscriptions to cancel. (Please note that subscriptions managed by the Law Library were not included in this process.)

To ensure that the best possible decisions were made in this difficult environment, we gathered feedback from the campus community through a three-stage journal and database cancellation review process:

The process included:

  • Listening forums across campus.
  • Contact from liaison librarians with departments and programs with proposed lists of subscriptions to cancel.
  • Information from liaisons regarding metrics libraries staff used to define “low use” and “high cost per user.” These metrics vary by discipline.

Faculty and staff completed a feedback form to make a case to keep journal or database titles. All feedback was submitted to Linda Walton by Friday, April 5, 2019. UI Libraries’ liaison librarians were available to field discipline-specific questions.