Library Budget

Annual collection review for 2011

Many libraries around the country expect budget shortfalls in 2011 due to the current economic times and increases in the cost of journals, databases and books.  Some publishers and vendors understand that libraries are facing budget shortfalls  and are keeping their price increases at a minimum or are maintaining the same price for the next subscription year.  Overall, the UT Health Science Center libraries predict an annual cost increase of approximately 5% for electronic journals and databases (in prior years an 8-10% increase was typical) and 3-4% for books in the next year.  Although these cost predictions represent averages, some publication costs will increase well beyond the average.

Each year, librarians review the library’s subscriptions to electronic journals and databases to determine if there are titles that can be canceled.  This annual review allows the library to free some funds for new subscriptions and to manage its materials budget within the  annual inflation rate for subscriptions.  A list of possible titles for non-renewal in 2011 resulted from this annual review of journal subscriptions and other electronic resources.  This list can be found at this url:

Multiple criteria were used to generate this list: lower use than expected, high cost, duplicate content with another resource, or some combination of these.  Cancellation of some of the library’s resources will be essential to ensure that our subscription costs remain within our budget. 

The library’s main sources for funding information resources are the state-legislated Books, Serials, and Binding budget and the Student Resource Fee, paid by students as they register each semester or academic year.  Although these combined sources will provide funding for most of the library’s collection of electronic and print resources, it will not be possible to continue all resources within the amount of funding available for fiscal year 2011.  In addition, the non-renewal list may need to be expanded depending on whether the library will receive LERR funding for fiscal year 2011.

We invite your comments and suggestions about  this review process.  Please send them to John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

Rajia Tobia

Executive Director of Libraries

Journal cancellation list: Please take time to review possible titles

In the May issue of the newsletter, we posted a list of possible journal and database cancellations for 2012.  If you have not reviewed the list and sent comments, please take the time to do so.  Comments can be sent to John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

Proposed reductions to journals and databases in 2012

Due to flat or reduced state appropriations in past years, an impending reduction in state funds for the next biennium, and annual inflation rates of 8-10% for journal and database subscriptions, UT Health Science Center librarians are preparing a “worst case scenario” list of possible reductions to the library’s collection of journals and databases.  Librarians used criteria for possible cancellation such as cost/use over $25, annual subscription cost greater than $1,000, and less than 100 uses in the last calendar year.  The list of possible subscription cancellations includes 172 titles and 10 database or electronic book collections.

In addition to the library’s local collection, The Libraries currently participate in the UT System Digital Library which coordinates consortium licenses for a number of journal packages by publisher, including Elsevier, Wiley, Springer and a number of other publishers.  These consortium licenses have been of tremendous benefit to all UT System institutions by expanding the number of journals and databases accessible at UT campuses.  However, the downside to consortium licenses is that participating libraries are not allowed to cancel their subscribed titles or are only able to cancel a small percentage of titles.  In order for the Health Science Center Libraries to operate within available funds, we  must plan for the possibility of dropping out of several UT System Digital Library consortium licenses.  The list of possible titles that will be discontinued due to loss of consortium access numbers over 3,900 and includes subscribed titles from UT Austin, UT Southwestern, UTMB and other UT libraries.  In the event that a journal title must be canceled, interlibrary loan services will be available to provide needed articles.

The Library Committee with representatives from each school has been consulted as librarians have developed plans to operate within available funds.  We ask that you carefully review each list of possible cancellations on the library’s website, at, and that you notify the library if any of the journals on the lists are important to your teaching, research, or clinical duties.  Please send comments to John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

Rajia Tobia
Executive Director of Libraries

Read up on open access publishing

open_access-logoRecently, a few interesting articles have appeared debating the future of scientific publishing and the impact of open access publishing.  Both Nature and New England Journal of Medicine have devoted issues to open access and the future of scholarly publishing, airing viewpoints on both sides of the debate regarding how open scientific publishing should be.  A selection of those articles are noted here.

In Nature, March 28, 2013:

Disciplinary action:  How scientists share and reuse information is driven by technology but shaped by discipline, Nature, DOI:10.1038/495409b

Open access: The true cost of science publishing, Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 426–429; DOI:10.1038/495426a

Licence restrictions: A fool’s errand, John Wilbanks, Nature, 28 March 2013; 495: 440-441; DOI:10.1038/495440a

In New England Journal of Medicine, February 28, 2013

For the Sake of Inquiry and Knowledge — The Inevitability of Open Access, Ann J. Wolpert, M.L.S., N Engl J Med 2013; 368:785-787; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1211410

Open but Not Free — Publishing in the 21st Century, Martin Frank, Ph.D., N Engl J Med 2013; 368:787-789; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1211259

Creative Commons and the Openness of Open Access, Michael W. Carroll, J.D., N Engl J Med 2013; 368:789-791; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1300040

The Downside of Open-Access Publishing, Charlotte Haug, M.D., Ph.D., N Engl J Med 2013; 368:791-793; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1214750