Big H opts out of Big Deal

Harvard University library  has a bigger serials budget than any other university library  in the U.S., about $10 million.  But apparently  Elsevier's prices are too high even for Harvard, and even Harvard finds that some Elsevier journals are not worth buying.  Harvard has cancelled its Big Deal contract and  a letter from the library Director,  Sidney Verba, explains that Harvard is "eliminating a number of journals published by Elsevier. Some of these titles were duplicate print subscriptions. Other titles were shown to have been underused over time."

Not surprisingly, Harvard is not alone in having a budget constraint. A story about Harvard's decision  in the Library Journal reports the additional tidbit that in a sample of 57 libraries that responded to an Association of Research Libraries survey, 22  indicated that they were "planning to cancel or were considering canceling a bundled package this year."