Skip to Main Content

Libraries' Collection Development and Management

FY21 Collections Budget Update

As discussed in Fall 2020, the University of Missouri Libraries implemented a $1.2 million reduction in collections expenditures for Spring 2021. Expenditures were finalized after reviewing package agreements with our five largest publishers: Elsevier, Oxford, Sage, Springer and Wiley. Ultimately, we chose to move to a title-by-title model for Elsevier, Oxford, Springer and Wiley and maintain our relationship with Sage based on a cost-effective combination of small subject collections and individual title subscriptions.

Moving to a title selection model reduced the number of titles that can be made available from each publisher, but we are committed to providing access to the materials you need through interlibrary loan and document delivery services. We also will maintain access to back issues of many titles, and you can search the libraries' Journal Finder for specific date coverage of titles.

Review all of the Titles Selected for 2021 Subscription from these five package deals to learn more about the content that is immediately accessible to you. Questions about the title list or process may be directed to your subject librarian.

Titles Held With Our Five Largest Publishers: Summary
Titles Selected (for 2021 subscription) 1139 21.80%
Titles moved to Open Access 23 0.40%
Titles Discontinued by Publisher 1 0.0%
Titles Not Renewed 4070 77.80%
Total 5233 100.00%


A. The University of Missouri Libraries implemented a reduction of $1.2 million in collections expenditures this year. This is approximately 20% of the total collections budget.

A. Libraries held open meetings for those who had questions about the collections budget and our need to reduce titles in FY21. Access video of our Open Meeting on Collections (recorded 10/23/2020) with Matt Martens, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs; Deb Ward, Interim University Librarian; and members of the Collections Steering Committee. Additional information resources are below:

A. Contact the Subject Librarian who has been assigned to your discipline. These librarians work with faculty by discipline to meet their information needs, which includes selecting the content to support them.

A. The libraries offer a tool to help identify available journals/articles and to easily link you to services to request articles that are not in our collection. Use the Journal/Article Finder to search for specific journal titles or specific articles (using citation information, DOI, or PMID). This searches across all collections (online, print, microform, open access) to identify access options for the material. If the item is not available within one of our collections, a link to request a copy via interlibrary loan is provided that will transfer the citation information directly to the ILL request form for ease of submission.

A. The libraries employ a variety of methods to provide access to journal content, each considered carefully to balance quality of content, cost and format. The Journal/Article Finder allows our users to access full-text articles via any of these methods.

  • Journal Subscriptions: Journal subscriptions provide current access to content while maintaining perpetual access to content for which we previously paid. These titles can be online or in print.
  • Full-text databases (including aggregators): Databases like Academic Search Premier, JSTOR and many discipline specific databases provide indexing and full-text to thousands of journals from many different publishers within one platform. This content is generally not owned by the libraries. Continued inclusion of titles within the database are dependent on the publishers' will.
  • Scan and Deliver Service: Users can request scans of articles from the libraries extensive collection of print journals at no charge.
  • Interlibrary loan: The libraries' ILL@MU service participates in agreements with other institutions to ensure rapid response to requests to borrow items for our users. The libraries also acquire content via commercial document delivery services when necessary. Journal article requests are fulfilled electronically so that you will have a PDF of the article needed in a timely manner. The libraries pay all fees related to this service.
  • Open Access: The libraries support open access initiatives whenever possible. Open access titles are included in the libraries' Journal/Article Finder.

A. The new budget model was conceptualized prior to the pandemic. It is needed in order to build a foundation for funding so that identified information resource needs of the institution can be not only supported but sustained. Funding will depend upon the financial strength of the university and the priority assigned to supporting research journals. The new budget model will provide for increased transparency and collaboration.

UM System Open Access Task Force?

A. The recommendation to fund the journals was accepted for FY20, the subscription year we are in. Given COVID-related funding reductions, the university can no longer follow these recommendations for the subscriptions being paid for from FY21 fund.

There is a system-wide budget that has allowed the Libraries to purchase some journal and database titles cooperatively with UMKC, UMSL, and Missouri S&T. Due to anticipated cost increases, a portion of these titles will be canceled for calendar year 2021. Our library will be considering whether to establish MU-only subscriptions in 2021 to these titles. Cancellation of our Elsevier package will also impact access to around 1,000 additional journals that were rented, not purchased, cooperatively for all four UM System Libraries. We will also need to consider if any of these titles will be kept by MU.

A. Nationally, there has been movement in the direction towards open access. For example, the University of California has taken a firm stand on both open access to publicly funded research and fiscal responsibility by deciding not to renew its journal subscriptions with Elsevier, the world's largest scientific publisher. Librarians and faculty at the University of California have been working cooperatively on the issue of open access for at least a decade. At MU, as is true at many intuitions, we are only beginning to make the efforts that will be required for open access to be a viable publishing model.

FY21 Collections Budget

Due to increasing costs and budget constraints, MU Libraries reduced FY21 collections expenditures by transitioning to a title-by-title selection model rather than maintaining publisher package subscriptions, i.e. Elsevier, Oxford, Sage, Springer and Wiley. With subscription changes, some titles used and valued by our university community are no longer accessible or will become inaccessible when changes are implemented by vendors.

We encourage all users to check in on access to specific journals or articles by using the Journal/Article Finder tool. Our inter-library loan and document delivery services are also available to help faculty, students and staff gain access to resources held by other libraries. Those who need information on specific titles should reach out to their subject librarian for help.

General feedback and questions can be submitted using our form and responses to frequently asked questions will be added to this page.

FY21 - University of Missouri System Shared Collections Budget (the Library Catalog Budget)

The University of Missouri System shared collections budget has allowed the libraries to subscribe to some materials cooperatively with UMKC, UMSL and Missouri S&T.  

In FY21 subscription cost increases resulted in the cancellation of the shared subscriptions for GeoRef, America: History & Life, Historical Abstracts, US Congressional Serial Set, Reader’s Guide Retrospective, JSTOR Ecology & Botany, Oxford Life Sciences Journals, BMJ and select titles from the Ovid Nursing II Collection.

Upon reviewing the impacts of these cancellations on our campus and in concert with our review for reductions in campus collections expenditures, the University of Missouri Libraries continued the following as MU only subscriptions:

  • GeoRef
  • JSTOR Ecology & Botany
  • Readers Guide Retrospective
  • BMJ
  • Select titles from the Oxford Life Sciences Collection and the Ovid Nursing II Collection

Additional Information

Universities around the world are struggling to keep up in the face of continual price increases. The current cost models for journal subscriptions require an average 6% increase per year to maintain current subscriptions.   If you would like to learn more, follow this link or consult your subject librarian

What can I do to support library collections and access to information?

More information on Open Access and UM System Open Access Task Force Report (2019)