Reduction in licensure of Elsevier journal titles

Several of your colleagues have recently brought to my attention their concern over the HSL’s decision to reduce its licensure of Elsevier journal titles. I thank them for bringing these concerns to my attention.

I realize that the HSL’s decision to not license the full suite of Elsevier titles negatively affects your ability to gain instant access to research articles published in Elsevier journals. However, the HSL continues to license 66 of Upstate’s most frequently used Elsevier titles and the majority of the Elsevier Science Direct titles continue to be available electronically, without fee, through the New York State Library. In short, even with our reduced subscription, you will still be able to access everything previously available–either through our continued license agreements, via the New York State Library, or through our document delivery services.  The only difference will be a series of “clicks” and, at most, a turn-around time of one day.

For information on accessing titles through the New York State Library, please refer to the Health Sciences Library’s blog entry at

If the New York State Library service is not available to you then the Library will facilitate your request through our document delivery services (ILLiad). On average, articles are delivered by e-mail within 1 business day of request.

We realize that finding your way successfully through all the avenues of access can be confusing and Library staff are happy to meet with you and your department to review methods of access to journal titles to which the HSL does not subscribe. Please contact the Library Services Desk at at 315-464-7091 or email us at

But why Elsevier? In fact, journal and database purchases and licensure across all publishers have been affected by the current fiscal situation. Unfortunately, for the past three fiscal cycles, the current fiscal environment has resulted in a 10% reduction to the HSL’s baseline budget for resource acquisitions and licensures. Additionally, inflationary expense has not been covered. As a result, the HSL’s real purchasing power has decreased approximately 33% and we anticipate our real purchasing power to decrease in excess of 50% by 2014. During the same period, the expense for the full Elsevier package would consume 29% of the Library’s total resource acquisition and licensure budget in 2010, increasing up to 36% at the end of the licensed period. Thus, continued licensure of the full suite of Elsevier titles would result in a corresponding reduction in access to other much needed journal titles from other publishers (Wiley, Nature, Cell Press, PNAS, Ovid, Wolters Kluwer, etc.), databases (UpToDate, Lexi-Comp, Access Surgery, etc.) and e-books (Harrisons, etc.).

Within the confines of the current fiscal situation, the HSL endeavors to purchase/license those resources that are of greatest current and emerging interest to the entire Upstate community: its four colleges, the research pillars, the hospitals, and our patients and families.

The HSL closely monitors article requests through our document delivery department. When the expense of article delivery begins to meet or exceed the expense of licensing a journal, the HSL investigates the fiscal sustainability of purchasing/licensing that title. Additionally, we monitor use of all purchased and licensed resources. As the use of these resources declines, we re-deploy funds to purchase/license titles that are gaining popularity. In other words, your use drives our acquisitions.

Please continue to provide feedback to me regarding all of the Library’s services and resources. I, my staff and Upstate’s leadership team take your concerns seriously and are committed to providing you with the best academic and research environment possible.

Cristina A. Pope, Director

Health Sciences Library

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