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On the (Open Access) Road Again: Is the Value of the Big Deal Declining?

by | Nov 5, 2021 | 0 comments


Michael Levine-Clark, Dean of Libraries, University of Denver, described studies about the value of the Big Deal. He presented a report last year on a study of the growth in OA publishing,but that does not have an effect on Big Deals. According to Delta Think, the value of the OA market has gone up 25% in one year. It is much larger than the scholarly journal market  36% of the market is OA articles; by 2023 almost half of the articles published will be OA. Their study covered 20 libraries and two large publishers using 4-5 years of COUNTER data. Usage data were cleaned up data and 863 outliers (6% of total usage) were removed, as were fully OA journals because they are accessible to anyone and do not affect the value of the Big Deal.. Then the average usage/Student FTE in 2 types of libraries was calculated.

Jason Price, Research and Scholarly Communications Director, SCELC Library Consortium, calculated CPU and CPCU (cost/use and cost/controlled use (Gold OA usage was subtracted from total). Costs increase over time as do average cumulative cost increases. Is total usage increasing? No, it is actually declining. 85-95% of usage is coming from controlled content (i.e. through a paywall).The average cost of total usage increases is small. Increasing costs of CPCU is a measure of declining value. So it appears that the value of Big Deals is declining slowly.

Don Hawkins
Charleston Conference Blogger


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