2010 Prices for Electronic Resources–Static or Business-as-Usual?

In our challenging economic environment, libraries are struggling—as are we all—to live within our budget. Our goal at HSLS is to provide access to as much online content as possible. In the past, annual price increases for scholarly journals averaged between 7-10%.  These increases are clearly unaffordable this year.

The publishers and vendors with whom we work have responded to our budget challenges in different ways. Some publishers seem to be unaware of economic problems—or are unwilling to work with their customers in difficult times—and have increased prices for 2010 by 5-15%, or even more. These practices are unacceptable.

But other publishers understand our challenges and have announced they will not increase their prices for 2010. They recognize our users’ need for the articles they publish,  and are cognizant of the unprecedented financial constraints that libraries face.

We commend the following publishers, among others, for freezing their rates for 2010 renewals:

  • American College of Physicians (Annals of Internal Medicine)
  • American Medical Association (JAMA, et al.)
  • American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. (Amer. Jo. Of Psychiatry, et al.)
  • American Society for Microbiology (Journal of Clinical Microbiology, et al.)
  • Annual Reviews
  • Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers (Pediatric Neurosurgery, et al.)
  • Oxford University Press (Journal of Public Health, et al.)
  • Thieme Publishing Group (Int’l Jo of Sports Medicine, et al.)

We continue to work with other publishers and vendors to provide us with financial relief during this coming year, knowing that if we have to cancel electronic resources because of cost, it will be difficult to re-start these subscriptions in future years.

A list of publishers who have agreed to freeze prices for 2010 is available from the Medical Library Associations’ Ad Hoc Committee for Advocating Scholarly Communications.

More detailed information regarding the economic crisis and libraries can be found on the Web sites of  academic library consortia that have published letters to scholarly publishers regarding the economic situation and pricing for academic resources. On February 19, 2009, the Association of Research Libraries published their “ARL Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis” referencing a similar statement from the International Coalition of Library Consortia dated January 19, 2009.

In May 2009, the Medical Library Association and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries jointly issued a Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Health Sciences Library Collections.

~ Leslie Czechowski

Posted in the 2009 Issue