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The Beginning of the End for the ‘Big Deal’?

The Chronicle of Higher Education – Inspired by University of California’s decision to drop its “big deal” with Elsevier, university librarians are laying the foundation to follow suit. ” University librarians have long griped about the rising cost of their “big deals” with major publishers, but relatively few have followed through on threats to cancel them — fearing the impact that losing instant access to new research may have on their institution’s academic standing. The UC system’s cancellation has given many librarians hope that they, too, can push for change. If one of the largest university systems in the country can do it, why can’t they? The University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota, Duke University and Iowa State University are among the institutions whose librarians have recently published statements in support of the UC system’s decision. The statements praise the UC system for fighting for a financially sustainable scholarly publishing model and gaining the support of faculty members in the process, but they also serve a strategic purpose — priming academics for tougher negotiating tactics and the possibility of more big deal cancellations to come…”

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