Library Collection Cancellations

2012-2013 EMU University Library Material Cancellations

The University Librarians have identified over $121,000 worth of content to be cancelled beginning in FY 2012-13.  These cancellations are needed to offset material inflation costs.  In the past inflation was offset by cancelling low use print materials, leveraging our journal spend, and purchasing archival back files.  However, after 5 years of cancelling, we are now faced with the need to cancel electronic content.  

The library faculty benchmarked cancellation recommendations against the following statement to insure that our cancellations are aligned with the missions of both EMU and the Library:  Materials which do not directly support heavily enrolled undergraduate/graduate courses/programs and whose content is available from an alternative reliable source.

While continuing to preserve core content, it was necessary to recommend cancelling RefWorks Citation Manager  along with several online discipline and general indexes.  Additionally we recommended the cancelling of 213 print journals (roughly 33% of our remaining print subscriptions) which had 0 to 20 uses over the past 3 years. 

Overall, the Collection Development Team worked to insure that the Library continues to receive the core resources required to support the curricular and research needs of the institution.  

Please use the comments to let us know of your concerns about any cancelled content. Comments made on this guide are moderated (not public) and will be sent to the library Collection Development Team.

Thank you.

Bob Kelly and the Collection Development Team 

EMU University Library


2011-12 Acquisitions Budget Reduction Goal: $125,000
Material Type Cancellation Amount
Journals $44,586.00
Indexes $27,629.00
Microfilm $124.00
Newspapers  $488.00
RefWorks $15,706.00
Standing Orders $32,884.00
Total: $121,417.00


View proposed cancellations by discipline.

Commentary from the Collection Development Team

These phrases describe the subscription cuts planned for next year:

Close call
We came very close to losing a large journal package (which would mean losing access to hundreds of journal titles). We did lose a smaller but expensive journal package that will affect a specific department.

Taking risks
We are cutting numerous print journal titles that are not heavily used in print form, since they are currently available full text in aggregator databases such as ProQuest and Gale. Many of these are heavily used by students and faculty in electronic form via the databases. In these cases, the print might not be missed immediately--but we have no guarantee that they will continue in those databases. We are likely to lose access to some of these titles over the next few years and many of these are heavily used by students and faculty. Also, under the current budget situation it will be difficult to reinstate subscriptions to those that disappear from databases.

Less money for books –
The main funds used to purchase books (including electronic books) were cut by 33% last summer to cover a collection budget reduction. To meet the cuts we need to cover inflation costs for next year, we will also cut most books the library automatically receives (standing orders). This includes many reference books and also some books from the circulating collection. For example, we will no longer automatically receive books/reports from some scholarly societies. We will be able to purchase some of these titles individually, but those purchases will reduce the amount available for other books—so essentially it is another cut to the book budget.

Cutting index databases to save full text content –
We cut a number of index databases that did not include full text content. Most of these indexes are quite useful. It was just the lesser of two evils, as losing access to full text electronic journals would be worse. We have other indexes that can be used for these topics and GoogleScholar can also help find articles. In some cases the substitutes may be less ideal search tools--especially for faculty and grad students; but losing full text electronic journal access is even worse for advanced researchers.

A couple of general cuts to expensive items that will hurt –
We plan to cut RefWorks ($15,700) which has been funded out of the collection budget for the past few years and the campus-wide subscription to Chronicle of Higher Education ($6000 per year).

Could be worse –
Overall these cuts further diminish our research capabilities, but perhaps are not devastating to support for most basic curricular use by students. If we must do the same amount of cutting next year there will be a significantly larger impact. A likely scenario for a following budget year with a flat budget would include canceling journal packages and databases. There aren't many print subscriptions left.

At a tipping point --
In past years, we have "saved" specific titles when department faculty had strong objections by finding something else to cut instead. Unfortunately, this year it would be very difficult to find substitute cuts that are not high use items. In fact, "smart cuts" were so difficult to find this year that we fell a bit short of the total dollar amount we planned to cover inflation and may need to cut some additional subscriptions. We've reached a tipping point where further cuts will be very noticeable to students and faculty.