This presentation describes a new approach to evaluating Big Deal packages. This approach enables librarians to negotiate with publishers more effectively by comparing the cost per download of package titles with the expected cost per download of competing publishers’ titles currently provided through interlibrary loan. The element of competition compensates for the effect of inflated journal list prices and, in some cases, will show that a Big Deal package is not the most cost effective way to provide access to articles.

The model uses a publisher’s list price and JR1 data for all titles within a package to sort titles by cost per download. Additionally, the model combines a library’s interlibrary loan data with journal title list prices to produce an equivalent list of titles from a variety of publishers. These two lists are combined with additional data which reflects each library’s individual circumstance, including budget, usage inflation, and interlibrary loan costs.

The resulting output is a blended list of package titles and individual titles from other publishers to which the library could afford subscriptions as an alternative to the package deal, while maintaining a sufficient budget to provide all non-subscribed material through interlibrary loan.

The presentation is in the form of a case study which describes the model developed by California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) for use by the California State University system in their current negotiations with publishers. This model improves upon work conducted by David Beales (formerly at Imperial College London) and used by the Research Libraries UK (RLUK) consortium in their successful negotiations with Elsevier and Wiley Blackwell.


Library and Information Science



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/lib_fac/101