Library Resource Cancellations

The USF Libraries’ collections support USF’s teaching and research programs. Maintaining high-quality collections in an environment of constrained budgets requires an active management strategy that occasionally results in cancellations or access restrictions. Cancellations are preceded by a formal process involving analysis of usage/cost-per-usage, consideration of the resource’s strategic importance to USF programs, and feedback from librarians and faculty. Because some resources are funded through the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), we must also manage periodic statewide cancellations that are imposed on the SUS libraries.

Table of Contents

Library Resource Evaluation Criteria

The USF Libraries regularly evaluate the collection and subscribed resources to maintain balanced support of the ongoing curricular and research needs of the university within budgetary allowances.  Materials that are no longer relevant may be deselected and subscriptions that are no longer cost effective or of significant value may be not be retained.

Electronic resource subscriptions will be evaluated for renewal under the following guidelines:

  • Supports faculty resource needs
  • Maximizes control of the library collection budget
  • Fiscal support from recurring funding sources
  • Faculty engagement in the decision-making process
  • Focuses collection expenditures on perpetual rather than leased access

The renewal process for library resources includes the review and assessment of resources within a decision matrix comprised of key elements focused on four perspectives:  contribution toward the University’s values and goals for teaching and research; the content, scope, and quality of the resource;  the usage and utility of the resource as experienced by faculty, students, and librarians;  and trends in pricing, cost per use, and licensing models, with consideration for alternate methods of access to content.

Supports University Goals, Teaching, and Research

Library resources must continue to support the academic needs of the University. Resources that neither meet the information requirements of a current program or research initiative, nor have broad multidisciplinary value, will be discontinued.  Resources will be evaluated as to the level to which they:

  • Are of value and importance to university goals
  • Meet college/department/program information needs
  • Contribute to research or grant work
  • Contribute to faculty success
  • Contribute to student success
  • Serve specific audience levels:  undergraduate, graduate, faculty
  • Contribute to textbook affordability

Content and Scope

Library resources are evaluated as to their continuing quality, scope of coverage, and level of academic utility.  Consideration will be given to resources with unique content or features.  Recency of content and timeliness of updates are factors where currency is needed.  External indicators such as impact factors, rankings, and reviews will be taken into account.  The level of overlap with currently held or potential new resources will be analyzed.

  • Suitability to academic requirements
  • Quality, impact rankings, reviews
  • Unique features
  • Currency
  • Overlaps with existing content
  • New resource available that would better fit current needs

Experience with Resource

Reports as to the efficacy, usability, demand for, and value of a resource are of the utmost importance.  Recommendations from library liaisons and feedback from faculty are strong indicators in the renewal decision.  Current usage and usage trends will be evaluated with respect to the application and audience of the resource.  Resources with low or sustained decrease in usage will be assessed for cancellation.

  • Liaison librarian input
  • Faculty input
  • Usability
  • Current usage and usage trends

Cost and Licensing

Resources with unsustainable cost increases, excessive bundling of content, licensing models that result in too high a cost or too little access, unreasonably high or increasing cost per use, or unacceptable renewal terms may not be continued.  The availability and cost of alternate methods of access to the content will be reviewed and considered as replacements for the current resource.

  • Cost and pricing trends
  • Cost per use
  • Licensing model
  • Renewal terms
  • Alternate access

Factsheets with relevant information will be developed during the review process summarizing the overall value, quality, contribution, and cost effectiveness of the resource.  Discipline specific resources that become candidates for cancellation due to a combination of these factors may be referred to the appropriate library liaison and/or academic department for further information.