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Usage statistics for Big Deals: supporting library decision-making

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Only simple statistical analysis, using MS Excel and COUNTER-compliant usage reports, is required to calculate performance metrics for Big Deals. Big Deal e-fees themselves are a relatively small proportion of journals expenditure, so when budget cuts need to be made, most savings have to be made by cancelling individual journal subscriptions. However, many individual subscriptions are tied by the non-cancellation clauses that are an inherent part of most Big Deals and so cannot be cancelled unless the Big Deal is cancelled first. Typically, half of all downloaded articles are in the unsubscribed portion of the Big Deal. Thus it is impossible to make even moderate cuts in journals budgets without inflicting serious damage to an institution's access to journal articles, with serious implications on research. Both libraries and publishers benefit from the Big Deal, so it is essential that pricing remains affordable. Libraries may need to educate their funders to ensure that they continue to receive adequate funding for Big Deals.
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Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.
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