Collection development in the era of big deals

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Drawing on an original methodology using citations, downloads, and survey data, this paper analyzes journal usage patterns across 28 Canadian universities. Results show that usage levels vary across disciplines and that different academic platforms varied in their importance to different institutions, with for-profit platforms generally exhibiting lower usage. These results suggest economic inefficiencies exist in big deal academic journal subscriptions for universities, as most journals in such bundles are seldom or never used. We recommend that universities coordinate resource sharing and negotiate strategies with academic journal expenditures based on shared interests and usage trends.

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Philippe Mongeon
Philippe Mongeon
Assistant Professor, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

I am an assistant professor at the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, director of the Quantitative Science Studies Lab, and associate member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST).

Vincent Larivière
Vincent Larivière
Associate Professor, Université de Montréal