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    VIVA Loses Academic Press Subscriptions
    by Patricia Hardesty, Collections/Acquisitions Librarian

    As all of you know, Virginiaís budget situation is forcing Virginiaís colleges and universities to make difficult decisions affecting access to educational resources. In addition, academic libraries are feeling intense budget pressure from another direction--the scholarly communication market, where costs, especially for scientific journals, have spiraled in recent years, with no sign of stabilizing.

    VIVA, Virginiaís statewide academic library consortium, maintained a subscription to IDEAL, Academic Pressís collection of 172 e-journals, for five years, providing access to all 39 public higher education institutions in the Commonwealth. Following Academic Pressís acquisition in 2002 by Elsevier, a commercial publisher notorious for its high subscription costs, VIVA was advised that consortial pricing would no longer be offered for this journal package. In response to this news, as well as cuts to its budget, VIVA decided to discontinue the subscription at the end of 2002. 

    This year, JMUís contribution to the VIVA consortium in support of Academic Press (AP) was less than $20,000; however, for JMU to purchase electronic subscriptions to those same 172 journals on its own in 2003, the cost would be $190,000. Before VIVA purchased access to the Academic Press titles, JMU subscribed to 40 individual AP titles; resuming those subscriptions would cost over $67,000 today. The libraryís steady state budget precludes a return to that level of subscribership. 

    JMU Libraries responded to VIVAís journal cuts by reviewing three years of usage trends for all Academic Press journals. The Libraries sought to retain the titles most essential to the curriculum as evidenced by consistently high usage; titles with low cost per use were also considered for retention. Due to budget constraints, and without other cancellations, the total annual subscription cost had to approximate JMUís contribution to the consortium for the entire Academic Press package in 2002. With this limitation, the Libraries would be able to continue subscriptions to 14 journals in 2003:

    Animal Behaviour
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
    Brain and Language
    Consciousness and Cognition
    Developmental Review
    Environmental Research
    Journal of Adolescence
    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Journal of Memory and Language
    Journal of Molecular Biology
    Journal of Research in Personality
    Preventive Medicine
    Social Science Research

    JMU, and the other Virginia public universities will continue to have access to the backfiles of all 172 Academic Press journals for the subscribed years, 1996 through 2002. VIVA is investigating various options for electronic access to this content. The Libraries will make an announcement when a decision on access is made.

    Academic Press Journals cancelled

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    Copyright © 2002. JMU Libraries.
    All rights reserved.