At University of Birmingham we have been doing a bit of work on investigating reasons behind major price increases for 2010 subscriptions. We have been trying to cope with the costs of adverse currency fluctuation which we expected to a certain degree. However, we have also found a number of other reasons for major price increases which we have not been able to plan for very well as they have come after we reviewed and renewed our 2010 subscriptions. To a certain extent we have these kind of issues every year. However, this year, my impression that there does seem to be a lot more of them and combined with currency factors, has placed an additional burden on budgets. The reasons we have found are:
* Moving to different formats (not through choice but through publisher policy). In one case this has led to a 70% increase in subscription price for 2010 moving from print only to print + internet subscription!
* Increases in publication frequency - I understand why this may lead to cost increases but I just don't appreciate the timing
* Titles only becoming available through 'mini-packages' - this is increasingly frustrating - we may only want a subscription to 1 title but in order to get access to it, you need to subscribe to a package with 2 other titles that are not of interest. We have had examples where we have then had to suffer another added title to the package (again which we don't want) which has been subject to a 35% increase!
Has anyone else noticed high price increases due to the above reasons and what has been your strategy for dealing with them in a climate of budget cuts especially when you have already renewed subscriptions and paid invoices based on estimating pricing? I would be interested in your views on or off list.
Many thanks in advance.
E-Resources & Serials Coordinator
University of Birmingham
Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Tel: 0121 414 5825
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