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Serials Review

Information on the Serials Review project from the University Libraries

Process and Timeline

The University of Maryland Libraries is facing a flat budget and significant serials inflation. In order to avoid a deficit of between $350,000-$800,000 in FY17 the Libraries are taking several actions:

  • Several research databases across all disciplinary areas have been canceled
  • Allocation of funds for discretionary monograph purchases have been reduced across all disciplinary areas
  • In consultation with collegiate faculty, Collection Development has reviewed journal subscriptions and made recommendations for cancelation of titles.

During the serials review, conducted in spring 2016, subject librarians in Collection Development identified potential cancelations at levels of 3%, 5% and 8% of the total collections budget.  Acquisitions provided librarians with robust data on cost and use of materials. A significant number of titles identified at each level are part of “big deals.”  These large packages, often in collaboration with consortial partners, offer significant discounts off list price of journal titles. Our contracts with the vendors of these packages do not permit us to cancel titles. Therefore, in FY17 we will cancel all titles identified at 8% that are not part of a big deal.  We will employ our analysis of big deal titles identified for cancelation in future budget adjustments. 

Additional adjustments to the FY17 collections budget will be likely, and we are already preparing for FY18. Adjustments to the collections budget will continue to ensure that no one fund or discipline is unduly targeted either in terms of the number of titles or dollars in relation to their current collection and budget.

 The University of Maryland Libraries have extensive lending and borrowing partnerships with institutions around the world. These enable us to provide users with information beyond our current holdings.  Nearly all content canceled as part of the serials review is available through programs such as UBorrow, Scan & Deliver, the Big 10 Academic Alliance Shared Print Repository, and other Interlibrary Loan options.  For more information, please go to

Contact Us

We value your comments and will do our best to answer your questions.  Please send feedback to the relevant subject librarian (you can find a list at or to Daniel Mack, Associate Dean, Collection Strategies and Services, at