152 · Representative Documents: Scholarly Communication Resolutions
University of Connecticut
Minutes of a Meeting of the University Senate: Attachment 23
03/04 -A -59
University Budget Committee
Report to the Senate, February 9, 2004
The Crisis in Scholarly Communication and an Initial Response
The scholarly literature is the foundation on which new advances in research and scholarship are
built, and broad access to that literature is essential to the health of the world’s academic community.
Unfortunately, library budgets can no longer keep pace with the exploding volume and cost of
acquiring comprehensive collections of scholarly journals and monographs. An October, 2001 study
by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)1 shows that library expenditures on serials almost
doubled (+192%) from 1986 to 2000 (Figure 1) Unfortunately, the unit cost of serials increased even
more (+226%). The leading research libraries in the United States are now able to collect a smaller
fraction of the scholarly literature than ever before. “While world production of scholarly
communication is estimated to have doubled since the mid 1980s, the average research library's
journal subscriptions have actually declined by 6% monographic acquisitions have declined by 26%
other kinds of acquisitions have tumbled as well.”2 At the University of Connecticut we have seen
the consequences of price inflation in several rounds of journal cancellations and reduced monograph
purchases by the University Libraries in the last decade, even though the Library’s acquisition budget
has roughly kept pace with growth in the University’s budget.
Figure 1. Monograph and Serial Costs in ARL Libraries, 1986-2000. (Source, ARL Bimonthly Report 218,
October 2001).
1 The Association of Research Libraries is an organization of 123 research libraries in North America. The
University of Connecticut is a member of ARL.
2 Scholarly communication FAQ at Create Change (http://www.arl.org/create/faculty/faq/scomm.html#question1
last viewed 28 January 2004).
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