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Collection Development and Maintenance

Subscription Decision Process

Subscription Decision Process (Renewals/Cancellations)

Maintaining high-quality collections in an environment of constrained budgets requires an active management strategy that seeks to balance external factors (e.g., subscription inflation costs) with annual budget allocations. This strategy occasionally results in cancellations or access restrictions.  

The Libraries annually evaluate the collection and subscribed resources to maintain balanced support of the university's ongoing curricular and research needs within budgetary allowances.

Each subscription renewal or cancellation decision will have unique drivers and be guided by our collection values of collaboration, discovery, and stewardship. The cancellation process will include one or more of the following:

  • Consulting usage data
    • Usage is typically provided by the publisher or vendor in alignment with COUNTER codes of practice.    
  • Considering unique and underrepresented content
  • Collections by or about historically minoritized groups
  • Evaluating just in time access
  • Alternative access methods, like interlibrary loan or article delivery, are readily available for non-subscribed materials
  • Evaluating feedback
  • Preliminary cancellation or renewal decisions are communicated out to solicit feedback

Additional elements considered include:

  • Open access availability
  • The percentage of the content available openly, or the subscription model that supports maintaining the open access infrastructure
  • Discoverability
  • If the resource can be easily found in the catalog, and is accessible for all of our users
  • Access versus ownership
  • Non-permanent ebook collections through the consortia or streaming media 1-3 year licensing provide short-term access to resources
  • Perpetually purchased collections and backfiles of ebooks and journals, and other resources purchased outright are permanent to the collection
  • Licensing terms and conditions
  • When these terms and conditions are restrictive or unethical, we seek to change them and if unsuccessful will allow licenses to lapse
  • Space stewardship
    • Practice stewardship by promoting discovery and accessibility of the physical collections
    • We recognize the need for research and study spaces in the library as well as for collections materials
  • A holistic view of OSU’s curricular trajectory
    • Understanding the new or changing classes, certifications, majors and minors that are discussed at Faculty Senate and the Curriculum Council, and that are reflected in program proposals
    • Supporting cyclical class needs

Policy Information

This policy was last reviewed March 2023.