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UC Libraries Discontinue Taylor & Francis Systemwide Journals License

Following a rigorous value assessment, the Libraries on the ten UC campuses and the California Digital Library (CDL) have discontinued their systemwide Taylor & Francis journals license in favor of local campus subscriptions effective January 1, 2013.  Three important systemwide principles were the basis for the decision:  achieving sustainable pricing, better aligning cost to value, and maintaining the highest quality journal content possible across a broad range of disciplines. Clear UC-focused value metrics by subject category combined with a structured, holistic review process encompassing all systemwide journal packages were used to inform this decision, which will save the Libraries nearly 45% over previously projected costs.

UC Libraries Holistic Journal Review:

  • Severe budget challenges combined with continuing escalation in the cost of scholarly journals have required UC Libraries to seek economies in systemwide online journal expenditures.  Since 2010, one package has been discontinued and several other packages have been scaled back to control costs.
  • A strategic and holistic approach to journal evaluation was undertaken in 2012 using objective, quantifiable, metrics that took into account multiple vectors of value.  Comparisons of quality, utility and cost effectiveness were made across all journal publisher packages that UC licenses, focusing on packages that were up for renewal in 2013.  An overview of this methodology is available in the February 2012 CDLINFO article “Calculating scholarly journal value through objective metrics.”
  • These metrics were used by the UC Libraries to facilitate fiscally responsible decision-making.  Our approach sought to re-negotiate the cost of journals, where appropriate, to better align cost to value, and/or to restructure or scale back publisher packages through carefully targeted cancellations to match our available budget. The evaluation methodology carefully accounted for disciplinary differences to ensure that all disciplines of study at the university would be adequately supported. In addition, UC librarians on all 10 campuses did an extensive review of the Taylor & Francis journals using their subject expertise and knowledge of local library licensing practices.

Criteria as Applied to the Taylor & Francis Journals Package:

  • The Taylor & Francis journal package was ranked as providing the least value of our major journal packages.  Seventy-one percent of the Taylor & Francis journals were determined to provide lower value to UC’s faculty and researchers compared to titles in the same discipline from other publishers as measured by article usage, UC citation rates, and independent quality indicators such as journal impact factor, as well as cost.
  • Based on this analysis, a change in the valuation of the Taylor & Francis package was warranted.  The UC Libraries sought to re-negotiate the overall cost of this package to better align its cost with the value obtained.  After extensive negotiations, Taylor & Francis was unwilling to compromise on a reasonable reduction to the UC Libraries journals license. As a consequence, the Libraries regretfully decided to discontinue a shared systemwide license to Taylor & Francis journals.
  • Beginning with 2013, Taylor & Francis journals will now be selectively licensed at each UC campus based on local campus collection goals and priorities. Two thirds of our previous Taylor & Francis holdings will continue to be available at UC in some form.  Converting our Taylor & Francis license to local campus subscriptions and eliminating many lower-value titles will save the Libraries nearly 45% over our previously projected costs, with significantly higher savings at some campuses.

Continuing UC access to Taylor & Francis journals:

CDL is working with Taylor and Francis to ensure continued systemwide access to previously licensed journals and a smooth transition to local subscriptions for titles that are being retained at individual campuses.   Titles will continue to be available on the Taylor & Francis platform (

Systemwide access to content published through 2012 will continue to be available to many journals that have not been renewed; access to some journals will end with 2009.

A total of 828 journals will continue to be subscribed locally at UC campuses from 2013 forward.

A list of all continuing and discontinued journals and access details as of June 2013 can be found here:  UC MELVYL catalog records will be updated and interlibrary borrowing will be available.

Please note that campus subscriptions may change over time as individual journals are added or canceled.  Contact your campus library or consult MELVYL or local catalogs for the most current local subscription information.

Future Assessment:

The rigorous disciplinary-based value analysis used by the Libraries allows us to identify necessary reductions in ways that preserve the greatest amount of value to the University community.  Discontinuing our systemwide Taylor & Francis agreement will allow the UC Libraries to achieve significant economies and to redirect resources to other needed library materials with the least amount of disruption to our users.  UC Collection Development Officers will work with CDL over the next several years to monitor the impact on the UC community.