CSU Northridge Statement: Wiley Journals

I wanted to give the Faculty Senate Library Committee a heads up on the outcome of negotiations between the CSU and one of our largest vendors, Wiley. As some of you know, the last 15 years or so have seen the entrenchment of what is often referred to as “The Big Deal,” where large publishers (such as Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer) negotiate huge package deals with libraries or (more often) library consortia. These package deals often contain the full text of hundreds or sometimes even thousands of journal titles, so even though the cost for the package is high, the cost per journal per campus is relatively low. However, in recent years many libraries and consortia have recognized that the value for the “big deal” packages is not what we originally thought it was. Based on usage statistics, libraries can now see that roughly 80% of the usage from these journal bundles comes from 20% of the journals. Publishers prefer “the big deal” model and want to keep it, but libraries are skeptical that we are getting our money’s worth. Nevertheless, the big deals have continued with only rare exceptions.

In the last few months, the CSU has been negotiating with Wiley on a large journal package contract. Negotiations recently came to an end. Please see https://libraries.calstate.edu/equitable-access-public-stewardship-and-access-to-scholarly-information/ for important news on the CSU contract with Wiley.

At this point in time, each of the 23 CSU campuses (including CSUN) needs to decide whether to negotiate individually with Wiley or to determine other ways to deal with the loss of content, which is primarily the loss of slightly more than 1300 journal subscriptions. None of this will affect our access to our Wiley journal digital archive, which include over eight hundred journal titles. We continue to have what is known as “perpetual access” to the backfiles of these journals. In addition, many Wiley journals are included in some of our aggregator databases, such as EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Content in the aggregator databases generally has an embargo period of one year.

All of this should be viewed in the context of the Oviatt Library’s total number of journal subscriptions. We currently subscribe to (or provide access to) over 70,000 journals. By contrast, we subscribe to 1377 Wiley journals for which we will lose current (but not backfile) access on January 31, 2015.

I am working with key members of the Oviatt Library staff to discuss strategies on how we might best respond to this new development. Our response will undoubtedly include communication strategies, document delivery options, and collection development decisions. I have also asked the library faculty to look closely at their liaison disciplines and departments in the context of the Wiley loss of content, and to make recommendations accordingly. I plan to give an update on the Wiley situation at our next Faculty Senate Library Committee meeting. In the meantime, please feel free to write or call me directly if you have any questions.


Mark Stover, Ph.D.
Dean, Oviatt Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326

Message sent January 13, 2015