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Libraries' Collection Development and Management

FY21 Collections Budget

Due to increasing costs, the University of Missouri Libraries will be implementing a reduction of 1.2 million dollars in collections expenditures this year, which is approximately 20% of our total collections budget. Due to the size of this reduction, we can no longer maintain our large publisher package subscriptions, i.e. "Big Deals" with Elsevier, Oxford, Sage, Springer, and Wiley. Instead we will transition to a title by title selection model. 

This transition will result in a significant reduction in the total number of titles that are highly used and important to our University community.  Inter-library loan and document delivery services will continue as effective means of delivering content not held by the Libraries. Please consult with your subject librarian if you are unfamiliar with how to use these services.

We welcome those who have questions about the collections budget and our need to cancel titles this year to join us for one of our open meetings with Matt Martens, Associate provost for Academic Affairs; Deb Ward, Interim University Librarian; and members of the Collections Steering Committee. 

Open Meeting on Collections (recorded 10/23/2020)

We encourage faculty and students to contact their subject librarian with questions about specific titles. Please submit general feedback and questions using the form below. Responses to frequently asked questions will be added to our FAQ. 

Feedback/Questions Form


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.

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)