Cost Reduction Strategy

Journal Assessment Update: Cambridge and Oxford Packages

In 2018, the Dal Libraries began examining six journal packages from Cambridge, Oxford, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley to determine whether we should renew these subscriptions.

Since the summer, subject-based teams of librarians have been analyzing the data from the faculty and student consultations we held in the spring, using journal usage statistics, citations, and other metrics to determine the value of each package.

In November we decided to renew the full subscription for Cambridge. In early January, based on our review of both the data and the newly-released 2019 consortial pricing for the Oxford journal package we decided to renew the Oxford package as well. Analysis of the remaining four packages will continue in 2019 and updates will follow as that work is completed.

This is complex and time-consuming work. Thank you to the librarians for carefully analyzing all the factors leading to the decision to maintain the Oxford package. 

While the Journal Assessment Database is still accessible, recommendations for 2018 can no longer be submitted.

Feedback about the project can be sent to

Discontinuation of Safari Tech Books Subscription

The Dal Libraries, in consultation with the Faculty of Computer Science, the Department of Engineering Mathematics & Internetworking, and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, have decided not to renew our subscription to Safari Tech Books, a subscription that provided access to 69 titles.

Early in September, the Libraries learned the content of the Safari eBooks subscription would change significantly to include many more titles; however, this positive news was overshadowed by a significant price increase. Over the course of three years, the price of the subscription would increase by more than 100%. Given this increase, and with input from the departments mentioned above, we’ve decided not to renew this subscription.

We have identified the most highly used titles in the package and we are buying replacement copies. In most cases, we will be able to purchase digital versions of the books, but in a handful of cases we will need to purchase print copies. In addition, we are collaborating with the Faculty of Computer Science to purchase additional books to further develop and strengthen the Libraries’ collection in this area.

If you have suggestions for items to purchase or feedback about this decision, please contact Sarah Stevenson.

Subscription Changes