According to information provided by UVa, several large journal packages consume about 40% of the libraries’ collections budget. Elsevier, which offers the most expensive package, provided 3,354 journals in 2018 at a cost of $1.8 million, or 19% of the collections budget that year.
Additionally, universities pay researchers to write articles, and many also are expected to peer-review articles for free. When those articles are published in paywalled journals, universities are essentially subsidizing the commercial product — and then are paying to put that product in their libraries.
Pair the financial crunch with a philosophical one, and Virginia librarians say they’re deeply skeptical of the current status quo.
A good write-up of where we are right now in Virgina, by Ruth Serven Smith at our local paper, the Daily Progress: UVa eyes new way to purchase scholarly journals