Sustainable Scholarship

JMU Libraries is committed to providing access to the materials you need for research and teaching. We want to ensure that our spending commitments align with community needs and values, that we are responsible stewards of our budget in a rapidly evolving information landscape, and that we contain and control costs wherever possible. To do this, we are analyzing journal cost, usage, and growth trends. This helps us determine whether large, bundled journal subscription packages, often called “Big Deals,” represent a sustainable part of our overall investment on behalf of the University. Keep up with the latest developments here.

Our key concerns are cost and equity: 

  • Equity: Researchers in Virginia (and peers around the world) donate their time and effort as editors and peer reviewers to private journal vendors, only to see their work locked behind paywalls. Most of JMU’s published research is supported by public funds, yet many of our research products are inaccessible to the public. This arrangement is fundamentally inequitable and inconsistent with our mission as a public institution.  Learn more…


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. This movement is building around the world and there are strong signs of change at the federal level in the United States. 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. Learn more…

By the Numbers

Pie chart showing fiscal year 2019 journal costs and six year budget growth