Journal & database cancellation project



Murphy Library is facing a 20 percent reduction to our collections budget this fiscal year—a budget that has remained flat for over 20 years. This amounts to a $226,148 cut. As journals and databases take up the largest portion of our budget, we need to reduce the number of resources to which we subscribe in order to meet this budget reduction. 

Historical context

The Library’s acquisitions budget has remained flat since 1999. In fiscal year 2015/16, the budget was reduced by $78,000. During this time, journal and database costs have risen at a rate of 5 to 6 percent per year (*). While funding from other sources, such as the Academic Initiatives Differential Allocation Committee (AIDAC), have helped keep us afloat, it has not been enough to compensate for prices continuing to rise every year. Subsequently, journals and databases have been taking up an increasing portion of our budge(see below for a breakdown of our spending by resource type). With the 20 percent reduction to our budget, we have reached the point where we are forced to make substantial cuts to our e-resource subscriptions. 

Fiscal Year 2020 Spending by Resource Type Graph


Fall 2019: Librarians embark on a Resource Prioritization Project to identify possible resources for cancellation due to rising journal and database costs and in the event of a budget reduction.

August 2020: The Library is notified of a likely 20 percent reduction to our supplies and expenses budget. The estimated target amount to reduce is $226,148. 

August 2020: Librarians begin notifying journal and database vendors of the reduction and engage in negotiations for reduced pricing.  

September 2020: Budget reduction is finalized. 

September 2020: Librarians survey faculty on essential journals.

October 2020: Librarians have initial meeting with Faculty Senate Library Committee to communicate process and goals for journal and resource cancellations. 

Fall 2020-Spring 2021: Librarians continue to gather feedback from UWL community regarding databases under consideration for renewal or cancellation. 

Late Fall 2020: Proposed cancellations to be communicated to UWL faculty. 

January 2021: Journal cancellations to take effect. 

Spring 2021: Database cancellations start to take effect. 


Date last revised: 11/5/20 



Why are you cancelling journals and databases? expanding section

The Library is facing a 20 percent reduction to our collections budget this year. This reduction is affecting all resource types, including journals, databases, books, and streaming videos. Furthermore, it comes in the broader context of an already-strapped budget. Every year for the past two decades, the Library has received no increase to our acquisitions budget. At the same time, the prices of journals and databases have risen steadily each year. The result has been that the costs for journals and databases have taken up an increasing portion of the budget, and our general supplies and expenses budget has already been largely reallocated to our collections. With this year’s budget reduction, we have no choice but to make some cuts in the area of journals and databases. 

Last modified: 11/06/2020

What is your process for decision making? Will you seek feedback from impacted departments? expanding section

Feedback on journals has been requested through an earlier survey, and departments continue to be informed of decisions that may impact their programs of study. In addition to user feedback, librarians are taking into consideration many other criteria. These include cost, annual increases, recent and historical usage, alternate access, curriculum, license terms, and ability to procure resources from other sources, such as interlibrary loan (ILL). If you missed our earlier survey or want to contribute additional feedback, please use the form below or email Pam Cipkowski at or Katherine Fish at 

Last modified: 11/02/2020

Has the Library received funding through the CARES Act due to COVID-19? How are those funds being spent? expanding section

The Library has received some funds through the CARES Act. These funds are expressly for purchases of new materials that are essential for students and faculty/staff to complete their academic requirements in an online environment. None of these funds may be used for physical items added to the collection or for renewals of existing databases and subscriptions. CARES Act funding has covered the costs of increased streaming video and e-book needs during the pandemic. 

Last modified: 10/29/2020

The survey just asked about journals. There are databases and e-books I find valuable as well, and I don’t want to see them cancelled. expanding section

Our intent with the survey was to gather feedback specifically on individual journal titles, but we are also seeking input on databases and other resources as needed. When it comes to our database subscriptions, there are a number of factors that can impact our ability to cancel particular resources: some are in the middle of multi-year agreements, some are included in larger database packages, and some are shared UW System licenses. Multi-disciplinary databases that are currently being considered for cancellation are listed below, and we will continue to add to this list. We encourage you to use the feedback form on this page to share your input on those. We are also contacting individual departments directly about discipline-specific databases that are under consideration for cancellation. 

Last modified: 11/06/2020

There was only space to list 7 journals on the survey, but there are many more that are key to my research and teaching. expanding section

When we created this survey, we knew that the number of titles considered “high priority” would vary significantly by discipline and individual. For the sake of keeping the data manageable, we chose to limit the number of entries. If you are concerned about the status of other journals you find valuable, please send them to us via the feedback form below or email them to Pam Cipkowski at or Katherine Fish at 

Last modified: 11/02/2020

Would it be possible to give faculty a list of journals you subscribe to in their field? expanding section

We are happy to work with you on creating a list for your department. Please note, though, that coming up with a definitive list of titles for a particular subject area can be a bit complicated. The Library subscribes to hundreds of individual journals and several large journal packages. We also have full-text coverage to over 100,000 journals through our databases. Furthermore, many journals are interdisciplinary in nature. That said, we can still help you with this. Contact Pam Cipkowski at with questions. 

Last modified: 10/29/2020

When will cancellations take effect? expanding section

Journal cancellations will take effect January 1, 2021. Our database subscription terms vary. End dates for access to any cancelled resources will be communicated on this web page, and database cancellations will also be noted on our A-Z list and in various LibGuides.

Last modified: 10/29/2020

Can you consider subscribing to a new journal I need? expanding section

Due to the Library’s flat budget over the past several years, we currently have a moratorium on subscribing to additional journals. We understand, though, that programs evolve and that you may need additional resources that align with your classes and your research needs. If you have a journal title to request, please contact Pam Cipkowski at to discuss the possibility of a future subscription. 

Last modified: 10/29/2020

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) has always been an effective mechanism for getting articles outside of our collection. Will our reduction in subscriptions limit our ability to use ILL? expanding section

No, our ability to use ILL will not be impacted by any cancellation decisions—and we encourage you to take full advantage of this service! Login information and instructions can be found here. Typically, articles are procured within a matter of 24-48 hours. While there are costs associated with ILL operations, we are factoring this into our planning. 

Last modified: 10/29/2020

What is the book budget for my department this academic year? expanding section

If you missed the opportunity to fill out the journal survey, want to provide feedback about the databases listed below, or have any other comments or questions, please use the feedback form below or email Pam Cipkowski at or Katherine Fish at

Last modified: 10/29/2020

Cancellation decision criteria

These are the main criteria librarians are using to make cancellation decisions:

  • User feedback
  • Cost
  • Annual increases
  • Recent and historical usage data
  • Alternate access to content
  • Curriculum
  • License terms
  • Publisher practices and purchasing models
  • Ability to procure resources from other sources, such as interlibrary loan (ILL)

Resources currently under review

Please check back for additions and updates. Note the deadlines listed below if you would like to provide feedback for any of these resources.


Deadline for Feedback 

Current Subscription End Date 






BrowZine is a journal browsing and reading platform. It also enhances journal records in our catalog with cover images and table of contents links. If we cancel, we would not lose access to any journal content. 


New York Times Online (



Several e-resources in our collection provide alternate access to New York Times articles, including same-day access in the US Newsstream database. 


Journal Citation Reports 



There are a number of alternative journal ranking sources that are freely available. More information can be found on the Journal & Citation Metrics LibGuide. 


ProQuest Statistical Abstracts of the United States 



The library still maintains the print volume of this publication in the Reference Collection. Many of the statistics included in ProQuest Stat Abs can also be found in the Data Planet database. 

Less Than $1K




Ulrichsweb is a comprehensive index of journal bibliographic and publisher information. Most of the information included in Ulrichsweb is freely available through other sources. 




Cancellation decisions


A list of cancelled journals will be added here once finalized. 


A list of cancelled databases will be added here once finalized. 

Feedback form

Type of comment or question:
Would you like to be contacted regarding your feedback?
Additional questions or comments?

Contact Pam Cipkowski at or Katherine Fish at