JMU Libraries is committed to providing inclusive and equitable access to the materials you need for research, teaching, and learning. Our partnerships and spending commitments should align with community needs and our values. While analyzing costs, usage, and growth trends are one component of this work, they are not the only considerations. Evaluating rights retention, licensing terms, and equity are foundational to our goal of a more open, equitable, and inclusive scholarly communications landscape.
In 2021, JMU Libraries was able to renegotiate our contract with Elsevier, breaking up a costly package that included seldom or never used journals, to only pay for our most frequently used titles. This collaborative effort from the Virginia Research Libraries was grounded in a values-driven negotiation process that used data to inform the approach. Annual evaluation of usage and interlibrary loan requests indicate that the titles selected have been meeting the needs of the JMU community. We will continue to consider requests for new titles on an annual basis, to ensure that we maintain prudent fiscal stewardship and values-alignment in our selective subscription with Elsevier.
Part of a Movement
We are part of a global movement of researchers and libraries demanding fundamental change in academic publishing, with many research funders on our side. While much of our negotiations focus on journal subscription issues, these are not the only source of concern. Monograph publishing and textbook affordability are all part of this landscape. Online textbook availability through libraries is restrictive, as others have noted, and libraries are unable to provide the kind of access that we value for our community. We believe this moment is ripe for action, and we know that working together will make us stronger.