This is an archived article.

April 8, 2010

UW Libraries announces Springer e-journal cancellations to take effect mid-April

In continuing response to last July’s reductions in funding, access to 1,219 electronic journals from prominent science publisher Springer will be lost as of mid-April, UW Libraries has announced.


The journals include many that have been used heavily at the University, such as archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Journal of Fusion Energy, and Water Resources Management. They also include publications by Kluwer, which is now owned by Springer.


The UW will continue to have access to 354 Springer journals to which it subscribes, plus another 255 subscribed to by other consortium libraries, for a total of about 600.


On Jan. 4, UW Libraries announced cancellation of 2,800 journal titles, which included the projected 1,200 from Springer announced today (see our story here).


“This has been another tough decision, driven by economic realities,” said Dean of Libraries, Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson. “We’re aware that faculty and students in specialized disciplines rely on access to specific journals, and loss of access will negatively affect research.”


Tim Jewell, director of information resources and scholarly communication, added, “As the primary resource for research, teaching and clinical care by the University community, we take any reduction in journal access very seriously, and the libraries will continue to negotiate with publishers to get the best balance of journals.


“Contrary to popular belief, online access to journals has done nothing to reduce the subscription fees of journals that were once published in print. In many cases, the cost has actually gone up.”


Since 2005, UW Libraries has participated in a regional library consortium contract that has provided access to approximately 1,800 Springer/Kluwer journals. Continuation of this agreement was contingent on participants limiting cancellation of journals, but local and regional budget cuts caused by the financial crisis required the UW and several participating libraries to cancel substantial numbers of Springer journals, which led Springer to cancel the agreement.


The consortium reached a new agreement that allows participating libraries to have current and back-file access to journals that at least one participating library subscribes to in return for limiting cancellations to 20 percent of expenditures.


Books and journal articles that are unavailable within the Libraries can generally be provided through Summit (Northwest academic library borrowing service, included in UW WorldCat) and Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services.


In many cases, an article can be obtained from another library within 24-48 hours. Although there are costs to the Libraries of offering these services, they are currently being provided at no charge to UW faculty, staff and students.


A link to a detailed spreadsheet of journal titles and cancellations is available here. The spreadsheet has two “tabs”: 1) 971 titles to which no access will be available, and 2) 248 titles to which limited access will continue to be available.