A Plan to Manage Subscription Costs

Published on August 08, 2019

In light of current budget constraints, it came as welcome news that our acquisitions budget would not face any reduction in the coming year.

However, we still must manage annual publisher increases averaging three per cent per year. To address these increased serial subscription costs, annual spending reductions of three per cent will be required. In our two-year budget plan this amounts to a $500,000 reduction in spending.

For 2019/20, we can achieve a $230,000 reduction in monograph purchases due to the success of programs such as Demand Driven Acquisitions and Evidence Based Acquisitions. The remaining $270,000 reduction will be achieved in 2020/21 through cancellation of ongoing serial subscriptions.

Subscribed Serials Review Plan

To achieve the $270,000 reduction in serials spending, we will review subscribed databases and journal packages and scrutinize individual serials subscriptions to evaluate their value to our users.

A comprehensive examination of our current serials holdings is underway. We plan to identify priority journals using information gathered through consultation with faculty and graduate students, usage statistics, and citation information. In addition, we will review, revise, and apply the criteria identified during our 2015/16 serials review. All this information will inform serials cancelations and the unbundling of packages where appropriate.

Faculty, staff and students can continue to rely upon Interlibrary Loan (RACER) services for access to content not available through Western Libraries. Western Libraries is also piloting other innovative ways of providing just-in-time access to journal content.

How can you help?

If you’re a researcher or instructor, we need your help to determine what library resources are critical to support your research, teaching, and learning goals. Our Collections and Content Strategies Librarians will reach out to you directly with questions about specific resources. We look forward to receiving this feedback.

Please contact Samuel Cassady (Head, Collections and Content Strategies) or Harriet Rykse (Associate Chief Librarian, Collections and Content) with any questions regarding this process. For specific questions about how this will affect your discipline, please contact your Collections and Content Strategies Librarian:

Arts & Humanities, Information & Media Studies, and Social Science

Peggy Ellis (x84721)
Elizabeth Mantz (x82692)


Elizabeth Marshall (x84842)


Samuel Cassady (x86370)

Health Sciences and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

John Costella (x80961)


Elizabeth Bruton (x88274)


Brian McMillan (x85334)

Science and Engineering

Shawn Hendrikx (x80962)