RLI 282 The State of Large-Publisher Bundles in 2012 14 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 Signs of Change Comparing surveys from 2002, 2005, and 2012 shows the steady uptake of the largest publisher bundles. Three of the four publishers covered in the two most recent surveys (Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley) are now licensed as bundles by 90% or more of libraries for which data were collected (see Table 1). Even for Taylor & Francis, which was the least frequently licensed bundle in both surveys, market penetration tripled. Although several libraries have discussed dropping bundles, it appears within this market segment that, overall, subscription has grown over the last six years. Some libraries may have dropped bundles but, if so, their actions were more than counterbalanced by libraries taking on licenses for journal bundles. For 2012, the average responding libraries had licensed more than five bundles among the seven publishers. Table 1. Research Library Uptake of Journal Bundles Publisher % Licensed in 2012 % Licensed in 2006* American Chemical Society 97% N/A Elsevier 92% 80% Nature 86% N/A Sage 89% N/A Springer 95% 77% Taylor & Francis 57% 19% Wiley 96% 81% * Data based on combination of responses to ARL 2005 survey of “have licensed [for 2006]” and “planning to license [for 2006].” However, the definition of the subscription bundle has changed for many libraries since the 2006 subscription year. There is evidence of substantial pruning of journal bundles through the “Great Recession.” Six years ago, many more libraries described their bundles as including all of a publisher’s titles. For the four publishers covered in both studies, percentages of libraries reporting the full publisher list of titles dropped noticeably for all (see Table 2). The data are consonant with a shift in consortial licensing from packages of publishers’ full lists to pooled lists of titles licensed by consortia members. However, for those publishers in both surveys, substantially more libraries are now defining their bundle at the institutional level. In 2006, fewer than 10% of subscribing libraries defined their own bundles with Wiley, Springer, and Taylor & Francis (rather than as a consortial pool or the full list). By 2012, the percentage of libraries with institutionally defined bundles tripled for Wiley and Taylor & Francis licensors, while the proportion institutionally defining the Elsevier bundle more than doubled. Even the proportion of institutionally defined Springer licensors increased somewhat.
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