Collections at UConn Library: Responsive. Relevant. Sustainable.
The UConn Library is committed to supporting the academic and scholarly success of our community. As stewards of the world of information, our goal is to strike a balance between providing relevant resources to meet the increasingly diverse research and teaching needs at UConn while staying within our budget.
The ability of the UConn Library to meet our community’s rapidly evolving information needs is challenged when we must pay for expensive “Big Deal” journal packages and annual cost increases must be managed with flat or reduced library budgets. These costly subscriptions bundle in resources that the UConn community does not need but which publishers impose on us. This unsustainable combination of mounting costs and shrinking budgets is leading many research libraries to shift from traditional collection development practices to a more sustainable approach for providing access to scholarship. As a national leader among public research universities, we join other libraries across higher education such as UVA and Purdue in rethinking approaches to manage the challenges of the traditional journal publishing system in order to make scholarship more open, affordable, transparent, and sustainable.
One way we are committed to supporting sustainable scholarship is to explore and implement alternative means of accessing scholarly information. Seeking out alternative methods moves the focus away from acquiring resources just in case. Instead, we can provide access at the point of need. Changing the model of how we provide access to scholarship positions the Library to use our scarce resources to better serve our entire community. It enables us to build collections that more accurately reflect the needs of our faculty and students instead of paying for bundled resources imposed on UConn Library by publishers.
We will continue to work with the Provost’s Future of Journal Subscriptions Committee and our colleagues in the field of librarianship to achieve our goals to connect with our community of learners, shape the sustainable scholarship landscape, and improve access for everyone.
What is the Future of Journals Project?
- Over several years, journal subscriptions will not be renewed, and instead we will provide articles on an individual basis at the same speed and convenience currently available.
- The change occurs primarily behind the scenes in how the Library pays for and delivers journal materials. Any decisions about journal subscriptions will in no way impact other resources/services you have come to rely on, including access to databases and other search tools to help you find the articles and other materials needed for your work.
- The pilot program to test alternative journal article access will begin in early January 2022. During the spring 2022 semester, we will provide access to journal articles upon request with a small number of select journal titles.
- The journal titles in the pilot program represent about 1% of current subscription and database titles held by the UConn Library at the end of FY 2020-2021.
Will I be able to get access to the full text of articles?
Yes! How the library provides access to select articles is changing but your ability to access them will not. We will supply them to you on demand via the Article Galaxy Scholar service from Reprints Desk. See Article Galaxy Scholar FAQs.
For faculty and graduate students, requests for 2021 articles from selected journals in our spring 2022 pilot program will be fulfilled generally within 1 hour—24/7. Undergraduate students should continue to request articles via interlibrary loan.
Will I still be able to access databases such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and Scopus?
Yes! You will continue to have the same access to all the databases the library subscribes to.
Is there a list of journal subscriptions and when they will not be renewed?
There is not a list of journal subscription titles. The spring 2022 pilot program is an investigation in what it will look like to provide access to individual articles from a small subset of publishers. If access is burdensome compared to accessing articles via the traditional journal subscription model, the committee will explore other solutions to funding the library collection budget.
Will books be affected by these changes?
No! The availability of scholarly monographs will not be impacted.
Will it change how I search for an article?
No! The discovery tools remain the same.
Will I request all journal articles through Article Galaxy Scholar?
No. It is possible that you may not come across any journal that is included in the spring 2022 pilot program.
What happens when I search for a journal article?
- If you search the Library catalog, check the box “Expand My Results to include e-resources not owned by UConn.”
- If you search Google Scholar, configure your profile first and use the HelpMeGetIt link below each search result.
- If you search other subject databases, follow the “"UConn Full Text” or “Find a Copy” links as you normally would. Look for a link that says, “Express PDF” If this link does not appear, you are not at a journal from the pilot; please use the “Request a PDF” link to request from ILLiad as you normally would.
- Click on “Express PDF” and follow the prompts to submit your request.
- The PDF will be sent to you within minutes. Check your UConn email for a notification and a link to access the PDF.
What is the timeline of the pilot?
Beginning in early January 2022, the pilot program begins with select publishers.
How can I give you my feedback or ask questions?
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will this transition impact the UConn Health and Law communities?
We continue to work closely with our campus partners to provide convenient, cost-effective access to articles. The Health Sciences and Law Libraries maintain their own collections and budgets. We ask that the Health and Law communities continue to rely on the robust interlibrary loan services at their own libraries.
What is Article Galaxy Scholar/Express PDF?
Article Galaxy Scholar, from Reprints Desk, allows UConn faculty and graduate students to request rapid delivery of articles from a small number of selected journals. This service is available 24/7. The UConn Library is piloting this service with select journals starting in December 2021.
How do I access Article Galaxy Scholar?
If you find an article from a journal that we do not subscribe to, in addition to the regular “Request a PDF” link, you will see an “Express PDF” link. This will occur whether you are searching a database and clicking on a “UConn Full Text” link or searching the Library catalog.
When you click on the “Express PDF” link, you will be asked to log in with your NetID if you are off campus. The AGS software will check to ensure the Library does not subscribe and if so, your request will be handled by Article Galaxy Scholar. If not, the AGS software will route your request to ILLiad for regular interlibrary loan processing.
Is Article Galaxy Scholar available for all journal articles?
In UConn’s Article Galaxy Scholar pilot, only articles from a small number of selected journals will be eligible for the “Express PDF” service. Journals to which we subscribe will continue to be available through the Library catalog and publisher websites. Article requests from journals that we do not subscribe to outside of the small number selected for this pilot, will be fulfilled through Interlibrary Services and ILLiad as usual.
How are my articles delivered?
Once you’ve clicked on the “Request” button, check your UConn email for a message from Reprints Desk. This email contains a link to download your article.
How long does it take to receive my order?
Most articles will be delivered in an hour or less. Articles originally published in HTML will take longer.
If you do not receive your article in a timely manner, check your spam filter and add “reprintsdesk.com” to your list of permitted senders.
How long do I have access to my journal article once I receive it?
Once you are emailed your article link, you will have 30 days to download the article. Saving the article to your computer or mobile device will ensure future use after the initial 30 days have passed.
Is there a limit on how many articles I can order?
There is no limit to the number of journal articles that faculty and graduate students can request via Article Galaxy Scholar during this pilot.
Who should I contact if I run into a problem, or have questions, about Article Galaxy Scholar?
Questions about Article Galaxy Scholar should be sent to email@example.com.
Who can use the Article Galaxy Scholar service?
For this pilot, UConn faculty and graduate students are eligible to use the AGS service.
Are adjunct and emeriti faculty eligible for the AGS pilot service?
Yes. All faculty, including adjunct and emeriti faculty, are eligible to use the AGS service.
I am requesting an article, but I am being directed to Interlibrary Loan. Why am I not getting the Article Galaxy Scholar Service?
During this initial pilot, only graduate students and faculty requesting an article from the small number of selected journals are eligible for the express article service. All other users are routed directly to Interlibrary Loan to receive a copy of the journal article.
Do I have to use my UConn email address with AGS?
Yes. You must enter your UConn email address to use the AGS service. If you enter a non-UConn email (for example, @gmail.com or @outlook.com), you will be prompted to enter your @uconn.edu email address instead.
Future of Journal Subscriptions Committee
Robert Astur, Professor, Department of Psychology
Brian Boecherer, Executive Director, Early College Programs
Thomas Briggs, PhD student, Department of Political Science
Jessica de Perio Wittman, Director/Associate Professor, UConn Law Library
Pamela Diggle, Department Head/Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Stuart Duncan, Director of Fellowship, Outreach, and Programming, The Graduate School
Kevin Fitzgerald, MPA student, Department of Public Policy
Anne Langley, Dean, UConn Library
Carl Lejuez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Senjie Lin, Professor, Marine Sciences
Ruth Lucas, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Kevin McEvoy, Assistant Professor in Residence, Marketing
Grace Morris, Research Development Specialist, InCHIP
Roxanne Peck, AUL for Collections & Discovery, UConn Library
Sylvia Schafer, Professor, Department of History
Leslie Shor, Associate Dean, School of Engineering
Fiona Somerset, Professor, English/Literatures Cultures and Languages
Katherine Spinnato, Director of Academic Affairs, USG Academic Affairs
Olga Vinogradova, Professor, School of Pharmacy
Sandra Weller, Board of Trustee Professor, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Lisa Williamson, DMA student, Music Department
Sarah Woulfin, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
Steven Zinn, Department Head/Professor, Department of Animal Science
Update on Future of Journal Subscriptions Assessment for UConn Library - January 2021
In the fall semester, Dean Langley and I convened a committee to assess the future of journal subscriptions at UConn. As journal costs continue to rise, library budgets at institutions of higher education often remain flat or shrink. This has put pressure on libraries to make increasingly difficult choices to limit and /or eliminate staffing, programming, and support services to maintain journal subscriptions.
Without swift intervention, this will begin to have even greater detrimental effects on library services. UConn is among institutions considering how best to adapt our model of journal content access in ways that have less impact to the Library’s overall budget and acknowledge the paramount importance of journal access in the University’s mission of fostering excellence in research and instruction at all levels.
Based on our discussions as a committee, we are rolling out a pilot to test an alternate model of delivery that would be phased in over several years where journal subscriptions would not be renewed, and instead we would be able to provide articles on an a la carte basis at the same speed and convenience currently available. The change occurs primarily behind the scenes in how the Library pays for and delivers journal materials. Any decisions about journal subscriptions will in no way negatively impact other resources/services you have come to rely on including access to databases and other search tools to help you find the articles and other materials needed for your work.
Moreover, the approach is aimed at providing the same journal support at a cost that is viable long-term, which will allow us to address impending budgetary shortfalls in the Library and to re-invest any additional savings back into the Library to reverse damaging reductions in staffing and services over the past several years.
As we explore the necessary systems to support a potential widespread shift to an article-on-demand system, we will pilot the approach over the next six months with a small number of select journals (about 1% of current subscription and database titles held by the end of FY 2020-2021). During this interim period, the Library will share updates and progress on this website to keep our communities apprised. Work will continue over the spring and summer for an integrated approach to be piloted more broadly throughout the fall 2021 semester.
If this approach is not deemed acceptable, the committee will go back and work through other options. Regardless of the approach we decide upon, a commitment to the quality of journal service to the academic community will be foremost in our decisions.
Support of the mission of the Library to provide access to and stewardship of the world of information is of utmost importance. I know many of you understand the truly difficult situation the scholarly communications crisis has brought to universities across the U.S. Institutions are seeking ways to take aim at the pricing and publishing models that have led to this juncture, and we are carefully tracking the successes of other institutions as we seek solutions tailored best for UConn’s diverse users and needs.
Our success will provide an opportunity to manage our Library budget without the burden of being dominated by the unsustainable increasing costs of journal subscriptions. Instead, the Library will be positioned to be nimble in support of the critical endeavors of the Library and of the University as a whole. In close collaboration with the members of the Future of Journals Subscription Committee, Dean Langley and I will monitor and assess the transition throughout the pilot project. We encourage you to reach out to any of us with feedback and/or questions. You can also email the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Library Statement on the Future of Journal Subscriptions - November 2020
UConn is facing unprecedented budget challenges and based on current projections, the Library is planning for a budget reduction of more than $2 million over the next three years. In order to address this, and given our deep cuts to staffing in the past decade, we must look at our collections spending and in particular journals collections. Journal subscription costs have outpaced available funding and currently account for over 66% of our total collections budget. As a result, we find ourselves confronting the scholarly communication crisis — maintaining a sustainable budget while providing the necessary resources to our academic community. This crisis is not one that UConn faces alone. Libraries nationwide are struggling to keep pace with rising journal subscription costs.
To address this issue, Provost Carl Lejuez and Dean Anne Langley are working with a committee of faculty, students, administrators, and staff to develop a strategic approach to how we can most effectively continue to maintain access to the full range of scholarly research our academic community depends upon. This will include creating sustainable models of providing access to academic research and subscription reductions.
Throughout this process, the Library is committed to upholding its values of providing access to and stewardship of the world of information and will be thoughtful about how our evolving models of access impact the mission of the University. We are looking forward to working with the committee on a response to these challenges that will keep us moving ahead, even in uncertain times.
As more detailed information is known, we will share it with you here. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to Dean Langley or Associate University Librarian for Collections & Discovery Roxanne Peck.