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U.Va. Library Collections Updates

Elsevier Pricing

February 03, 2012

Current publicity surrounding the academic boycott of Elsevier and the Cost of Knowledge website has raised questions among faculty about the University of Virginia’s subscriptions with Elsevier.  The University of Virginia Libraries subscribe to Science Direct, Elsevier’s largest journal bundle.  Through careful negotiations and partnering with other institutions in the state, we keep subscription costs down; however, it is still expensive.  Our license cost is $1.8 million this year, providing access to 2,087 journals; average cost per article is around $3.00.  While Elsevier is targeted in the current boycott, Springer, Thomson Reuters, Wiley-Blackwell and other publishers follow similar business models.

Individual researcher choice is one of the most important drivers of change in the scholarly publication system. Scholars and their disciplines have varying views on open access. Regardless of your view, we believe U.Va. faculty should, at a minimum, negotiate for the right to use their articles in teaching and retain legal access to a copy for digital preservation.

The Library wants to know your thoughts on issues related to scholarly communication.  Your subject librarian can help answer questions about specific journal access, and help research publication options.

Karin Wittenborg

We are forming a working group to create a forum for discussion and action on trends related to the transformation of scholarly communication.  If you are interested in serving on this group, or know of a colleague who would be, please contact Anne Houston at amh6xm@virginia.edu.

Budget Reduction

October 21, 2011

Effective January 2012, The University of Virginia Libraries will no longer subscribe to the journals in the list available at http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/files/cancelList2012.pdf .  The titles were selected as a result of discussions begun in Spring 2011. As the Library prepared the budget for the coming year, it was clear that the projected increase in the price of journal subscriptions would lead to a shortfall.

In April, subject librarians sent emails to the department chairs in their areas to make them aware of the need to evaluate the library budget and to work with them to develop the best strategy for getting faculty input.  Subject Librarians consulted with faculty and administrators across Grounds to determine which library resources, if cancelled, would be least disruptive to scholarship.

We hoped that we could secure supplemental funds, but with constrained resources overall, there was no additional funding available. Taking faculty input into consideration, subject librarians selected journals, books or other media, or a combination of content for cancellation on a department-by-department basis.  The list at http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/files/cancelList2012.pdf reflects the journals/serials that have been marked for cancellation.

For over half of the titles, the Library will retain electronic access to cancelled titles, but there may be an embargo period of several months to a year before the newest issues become available online.  Should a researcher need access to a cancelled or embargoed item, please feel free to request it via interlibrary loan.

If you have questions about the process, please feel free to contact Carla Lee (cl9eb@virginia.edu) or your subject librarian.

Budget Planning for the 2012 fiscal year

April 12, 2011

The U.Va. Library is currently planning our budget for materials purchases for the 2012 fiscal year. The Library’s budget allocation for materials will not be decreased, but we expect an inflationary cost increase of $275,000 for journal subscriptions in 2011-2012. Pending consideration of a budget addendum requesting this amount, we would like to start conversations with the University community now to plan for reductions in case we do not receive additional funding. Subject librarians will be consulting with each department to identify possible reductions in a way that will least impact research, teaching and learning.

If our final budget allocation covers expected journal inflation, we will not proceed with the proposed reductions in FY12. For questions, please contact your subject librarian.

One-time Money from President Casteen

September 10, 2010

Thanks to a grant of funds from President Casteen late last spring, we were able to purchase some very useful e-resources.  Since it was one-time money, it could not be used to restart subscriptions, but we were able to purchase e-book packages and backfiles of some journals:


IVY Stacks Expansion Underway

July 21, 2010

IVY Stacks PhotoThe University has funded a major project for the Ivy Stacks off-site shelving facility: a $4.9 million renovation that will double the building’s capacity and make it possible to review and re-shelve the 800,000 items contained there. It also makes room for growth.

The project begins immediately and will include emptying the building, reviewing and re-boxing all items, then installing high-density, movable shelving. The end result will be more space, enhanced stewardship, more complete catalog records, and progress toward the Library’s preservation goals.

This project means that the Ivy Stacks collections will be closed until completion in early 2012. In this interim period, you can access what you need from Ivy Stacks through Interlibrary Loan. You can use the same form as before when requesting these materials, but the circulation period will be shorter since the items are being borrowed from another library. Visitors who are not from U.Va. can request Ivy Stacks materials through their public library’s interlibrary loan service.

Good News!

July 01, 2010

We have received an on-going state allocation of $300,000 that will provide additional funding to ensure the availability of vital publications in science and engineering despite the inflation of journal costs and budget cuts. This will have a substantial effect on our plans for the coming budget year, so we are in the process of reformulating the collection budget.



Blackwell Synergy Journal Collection Dropped by VIVA

July 01, 2010

Blackwell Publishing LogoThe Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) announced that despite discussions over a 7-month period, it has not reached a satisfactory conclusion to negotiations with Wiley for the Blackwell Synergy Journal Collection.  As a consequence, the VIVA contract for the Blackwell Synergy Journal Collection will end at the conclusion of the existing contract period on December 31, 2010.  For a list of the affected titles, you may download this excel spreadsheet from VIVA.

This announcement means that unless we find funds locally to cover the cost of subscription to the Blackwell Journals, we will lose access on December 31st.   We will be considering this information as part of our budget allocation process, and will be seeking your input over the course of the summer and early fall.

Upcoming Budget Year

May 28, 2010

In the coming budget year, the expected journal inflation (calculated at 6%, in consultation with our primary serials vendor) will be approximately $246,000. This inflation, partnered with a budget cut of $233,000, means that we will face a shortfall of close to $480,000, unless we reduce expenditures. As we develop specific strategies to bring our budget into balance, your subject librarian will be in contact with your department. We will also continue to post information about the coming budget year on this page.

What We Collect and Why: Books and Journals

May 28, 2010

Each year the University of Virginia Library adds thousands of digital and print resources to our collection.  These include, but are not limited to: books, journals, databases, music scores and recordings, images, films, government documents, data sets, and special collections materials.  The first part in this ongoing series of articles detailing the Library’s collections philosophy will focus on the acquisition of books and journals.

Like most large academic libraries, the University of Virginia Library has a comprehensive plan for collection development which defines procedures and guidelines for acquiring new material. Our collection development program’s primary aim is to support the teaching and research needs of the University community. Selection duties are split up among subject librarians who have expertise in different academic areas, roughly corresponding to the University’s academic departments. A subject librarian for sociology, for example, selects books and other materials to support the University’s sociology department and programs. We rely heavily on approval plans, in which the subject librarians define general parameters and a book distributor uses those parameters to select and ship books to us that meet the specified criteria. While the subject librarians do not individually choose the books that come on approval, they set up the parameters carefully and continuously tweak them to ensure that we receive all relevant material in a discipline. Approval plans are an effective way to ensure that important books are not overlooked. In the case of an ongoing book series, we establish standing orders to guarantee that we collect all volumes in a series as they are published. We also purchase our journal and database subscriptions to support teaching and research. Subscriptions require a longer-term commitment than books and can be extremely expensive—with some journals costing thousands of dollars per year. Additionally, our purchasing power in recent years has eroded due to huge journal price inflation, which can result in cost increases of as much as 10 percent per year. Publishers are also increasingly selling journals bundled as part of package deals. This means that libraries are no longer able to choose titles individually but must instead subscribe to a large pre-determined group of a publisher’s titles for a flat rate. While these package deals can save money for libraries, they also limit our options, especially in tough budget times when we would prefer a cost-effective way to pick and choose the titles most relevant to the University community’s needs. Discussion of the U.Va. Library’s collections philosophies for other types of materials will be forthcoming in subsequent postings in the What We Collect and Why series.

Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA)

April 26, 2010


The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) is the consortium of the nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia.  It’s members include all of Virginia’s state-assisted two and four-year colleges and universities, as well as 33 private, nonprofit institutions and the Library of Virginia.

VIVA’s goal is to ensure that every Virginia institution of higher education has the basic electronic resources – such as journals, databases and online reference texts necessary to provide a quality research environment for its students and faculty. As their list of materials illustrates, VIVA brings the fundamentals of  a great library to every corner of higher education in the Commonwealth, and ensures that all of its students have equal access to those holdings statewide.

Funded primarily by the Virginia General Assembly with additional support from its member organizations and outside grants, VIVA sets the gold standard for efficient use of public dollars.  By working together, this coalition of academic libraries has created a powerful business model that eliminates duplication, leverages resources, and drives hard bargains to get the very best value for the Commonwealth’s investments. VIVA has consistently sustained a 1-to-5 payoff for Virginia taxpayers: for every one dollar invested, the state has received five dollars in value. And less than 4% of VIVA’s budget is spent on administration of any kind: a full 96% goes towards obtaining digital and print library materials for students and faculty throughout Virginia. 

While the needs of the University of Virginia community extend beyond VIVA’s reach, the groundwork it lays affords the U.Va. Library the opportunity to utilize our own resources in ways that specifically enhance the unique teaching and research done here on Grounds.

Budget update: Taylor & Francis journals discontinued

February 11, 2010

As a result of budget cuts this fiscal year, subscriptions to the 1,169 journals from the Taylor & Francis collection will not be renewed. The cost per use of Taylor and Francis journals was $13.28 compared to an average cost per use of $1.70 for all electronic journals. Click here for a pdf list of titles that will be discontinued. Please note that we will provide access to needed articles through Interlibrary Loan . You can also find information on the overall picture on the Library’s budget FAQ page . Please contact Carol Hunter , Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Collections, for any additional information.

University of Virginia Library
PO Box 400113, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4113
ph: (434) 924-3021, fax: (434) 924-1431, library@virginia.edu

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