Our latest Friday Big Deal Long Read is actually a long watch:

This 90 minute video captures the live forum event that the Virginia Research Libraries group hosted on October 2, 2020: the Sustainable Scholarship Forum. Our diligent video editors are cutting a highlight reel that gives you the gist of the event in less than 10 minutes, and some spotlight segments with some of the best stories from the event. I’ll post those here as soon as we have them, but the full event is worth your time, or at least a skim. In it, the library deans and directors from the Virginia Research Libraries group (UVA, VCU, Va. Tech, ODU, JMU, GMU, and W’m & Mary), along with special guests from Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, answer questions about how libraries are changing their approach to big academic journal bundle deals, often known as Big Deals, from publishers like Elsevier. You’ll hear the deans talk about some of the most important questions we hear when we talk through this issue with faculty, administrators, and researchers, including:

  • What are the values guiding us as we reform our approach to Big Deals? (~ 9 minutes in)
  • How do you decide what to keep and what to cut from subscription packages, which resources are valuable? (~ 21 minutes in)
  • How will I be able to access big deal content if a subscription is cancelled? (~25 minutes in)
  • How does the libraries’ effort to change the landscape relate to the incentives in Promotion and Tenure policies?(~32 minutes in)
  • How will libraries changing their approach affect the funding models of smaller publishers, scholarly societies, and other groups? (~37 minutes in)
  • How is our effort related to the budget crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic? (~45 minutes in)
  • How does the Big Deal relate to other Elsevier products or content, and what are the dangers associated with vendors expanding their reach into other parts of the scholarly workflow, beyond publication? (~50 minutes in)
  • What does a sustainable future look like? (~53 minutes in)
  • What are other libraries experiencing now, either after leaving their Big Deals, or as they engage in their own negotiations with Elsevier? (~57 minutes in)