Serials Review Project 2024 Frequently Asked Questions

What materials are being evaluated?

The University Libraries will be reviewing all areas of our collections to reduce expenditures. The primary focus will be on print and electronic journal subscriptions, electronic databases and other resources that are a recurring cost and require us to subscribe annually for access.

These materials incur annual inflation expenses of approximately 6%, or $450,000. Reducing expenditures on these materials is essential to offset the reduced budgets we expect to receive in FY25, FY26, and the fiscal years beyond that.

Will the Libraries also spend less on books?

Possibly. In FY21, the Libraries cut the approval plan for print and electronic book purchases by $200,000.  The Libraries will be reviewing the entire monograph budget. Use patterns and the disciplinary importance of monographic materials will be used to determine how we might reduce the monograph budget. The Libraries will undertake this review using the expertise of subject specialist librarians.

What is the dollar amount of this budget reduction?

The impact of inflation on content costs, continued flat budgets, and a potential reduction to the collection acquisition base budget requires the Libraries to plan for cuts to our collections. We will not know the extent of the cuts until July or August 2024. We expect reduced collections budget in FY25, FY26 and possibly beyond that. These cuts will be enacted in FY25 and FY26 depending on final budget numbers. Undertaking this project now will mean we will be well positioned to respond to the budget as it is finalized.

Does the list of titles for review include all journals and databases in the Libraries’ collections?

Yes. Unfortunately, due to the depth of the budget cuts, all journal and database titles will need to be reviewed.  

How will the Libraries decide which journals and databases to cancel?

The review process takes into account a combination of quantitative, qualitative, and cost measures. But the most important element of the decision-making process is your feedback. It is crucial that we hear from faculty and students about the resources they consider most critical to teaching, learning, and research.

What is the average inflation rate for journals?

According to the Periodicals Price Survey (PPS), journal pricing is increasing at an average of 5 to 5.5% each year. When compared with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 3.4% for 2023, journal inflation continues to far exceed general inflationary pressures. Since 2010, journal prices have risen steadily.

Contrary to stereotype, price increases are not driven only by science, technology, and medical (STM) disciplines. In fact, social science disciplines show the highest annual inflationary increases (6.7%), closely followed by arts and humanities (6.3%). Library collections budgets have not been able to keep up with these price increases and inflation continues to erode purchasing power, necessitating subscription cancellations.

Will it be possible to review the entire list of serials and databases under review?

Yes. We have compiled lists for both databases and journals. You can review all titles on each list or review by subject. However, please note that you do not have to provide feedback on every title on the lists, only those that are meaningful to your work.

Journals to review

Databases to review

If you have questions about specific titles, you may contact your department's subject liaison librarian.

Will the cuts be distributed evenly across all subject disciplines?

From a discipline standpoint, the collection cuts will reflect the percentage of budget allocation and cost of resources. These cuts will be distributed across monographs, journals and databases taking into account the disciplinary importance of each resource type:

  • 50% from sciences and engineering
  • 30% from social sciences
  • 20% from arts and humanities

How can I participate in the serials assessment?

The Libraries encourages feedback from all UNLV faculty and students. View the full details on participating in the review. For full consideration, please submit your feedback by April 26, 2024.

If I state my concerns about canceling a title, will it automatically be retained?

The Libraries are committed to providing resources that are critical to teaching or research at UNLV. It is, however, difficult to guarantee that all desired subscriptions will be retained. If a journal you recommended the library keep is canceled, access to articles will be available either electronically or in print through Interlibrary Loan. For most journals, the library will retain electronic access to volumes already purchased; articles published after 2021 may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

When will the cancellations go into effect?

As the library assesses the impact of the current budget situation, we will make decisions about when titles will be canceled. The titles will be canceled in FY25 or FY26, or we may need to do staged cuts across the two fiscal years.

Our subscriptions are on different contracts and have different renewal timeframes so when we cancel titles, access won’t stop on the same date for every title. Please note that for most journals, we have archival rights, so the University will not lose access to back files of most journals. But a general guideline for when access will end is below:

  • FY25 cancellations - access will end on December 31, 2025
  • FY26 cancellations - access will end on December 31, 2026

PLEASE NOTE: Before the Libraries implement any cancellations we will share the list of proposed cancellation titles and the fiscal year timeframe, FY25 or FY26, for when they will be canceled. This information will remain on the Libraries website through FY25 and FY26.

How can I get access to titles once they have been canceled?

Access to articles in journals no longer subscribed to by the Libraries may be available in electronic format through full-text databases or electronic journal packages subscribed to by the Libraries. You may also obtain a print copy of articles through Interlibrary Loan.

What will happen to the online backfiles of a journal if the current subscription is canceled?

Typically the Libraries will maintain electronic access to the subscribed years and, in most cases, the previously paid backfiles of a journal.

Are there alternatives for access to canceled journals, other than interlibrary loan?

The University Libraries provides access to several full-text databases such as Academic Search Premier and ABI/Inform. These databases offer access to the full-text of many diverse journals, magazines and newspapers.

It should be noted that, in some cases, these full-text databases are not an exact substitute for a full subscription to a journal. In some instances the coverage may not include every article, letters to the editor, or book reviews and it may not include graphics (illustrations, charts, or maps).

Additionally, many of the journals included in these types of databases have "embargo periods." This means that the publisher of an embargoed title does not allow the database to release the full-text content for a predetermined length of time (typically 6 or 12 months). After the embargo period is over, the full-text will become available as it does for earlier issues of a journal.

What are the Libraries doing to support Open Access?

The University Libraries is committed to participating in sustainable models of open access as a way to transform the traditional system of scholarly communication. Moving scholarly research away from a paywalled subscription model, to being freely available online, without restriction, is the long-term goal.

The benefits of this goal are numerous. Open access facilitates innovation and discovery and creates a more equitable system of knowledge that is open to all. Open access works can be read, cited, and built upon more easily than paywalled research, contributing to a researchers’ impact and profile. Open access will change how scholarly publishing is funded, potentially alleviating the burden of unsustainable resource costs on libraries’ budgets.

The Libraries will provide open access materials in the Libraries’ collection and support open access publishing efforts of faculty and students and the larger research and publishing community. These open access resources complement traditional resources that are purchased/owned or leased. For more information, please see the University Libraries Open Access Statement.

The University Libraries support publishing open access in several ways:

Institutional Repository

Digital Scholarship@UNLV is a service of the University Libraries for the faculty and students of UNLV. The mission is to capture, preserve, and share the intellectual output of UNLV faculty, staff, students, and collaborations with other stakeholders.

Research and scholarly archived output includes: articles, monographs, audio/visual presentations, working papers, technical reports, conference papers/posters, theses/dissertations, data sets, and publicly-funded research.

In addition to the mission outlined above, the primary purpose of Digital Scholarship@UNLV and institutional repositories like it is to make the full-text of works produced by scholars at a university freely available and discoverable to anyone with an internet connection. This is called open access. This ensures scholars, students, taxpayers, potential collaborators, and others can find and have access to the research they need or want. It, in turn, broadens the audience for authors, encouraging additional use of the work and citations to it.

Open access journal hosting platform

In addition to the publication types noted above, Digital Scholarship@UNLV serves as a journal publishing platform. See a current list of journals published in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. The editors of these journals are all affiliated with UNLV, although authors from around the world contribute articles.

Learn more about publishing an open access journal in Digital Scholarship@UNLV.

UNLV Open Article Fund

The University Libraries seeks to assist UNLV researchers in sharing their work widely through open access. The Open Article fund assists researchers with the costs of publishing in open access journals. Specifically, this fund supports article processing charges (APCs) for open access journals. Please note that funds for Open Articles are not impacted by the Serials Review Project.

In addition the Libraries has partnered with several publishers to reduce costs and expedite payment of APCs for UNLV authors.

Consultation and workshops on open access and related topics

The Libraries' Scholarly Communication and Data Services department provides expertise on topics such as identifying high-quality, open access journals, avoiding predatory publishers, authors’ rights, the role of commercial hosting platforms such as ResearchGate in scholarly publishing, copyright, and more. Find more information and how to contact the department

Who should I contact for more information?

If you need additional information or have concerns that you would like to share please contact:

Cory Tucker, Head of Collections, Interlibrary Loan, and Acquisitions
Phone: 702-895-2133
Or the Subject liaison librarian for your discipline

Ask Us