2017 Leddy Library Collections Review

Academic libraries across the country are experiencing significant challenges to their information resources budgets, and University of Windsor’s Leddy Library is no exception.  The library has faced diminished purchasing power for its collections budgets over the past several years due to 3 main factors: 

  • several years of campus-wide budget realignments resulting in multiple cuts to library acquisitions budgets
  • inflation costs charged by publishers in annual renewals with an average annual increase between 2% and 5%
  • fluctuating US dollar exchange rates. Costs of the U.S. dollar in the past 2 years alone have increased our acquisitions costs by almost 30%.  Since just over 80% of our acquisitions are from US vendors this exchange rate is a huge burden on our budget.

Our consortial partnerships with the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) have provided savings to us over the years by allowing us to leverage our purchasing power through big deal and group purchasing.  In the past few years, however, the benefits of these partnerships have been far overshadowed by the continuing inflation and exchange costs we face.  

As a result, the Library is grappling with almost a 50% over-expenditure in its acquisitions funds, specifically for electronic resources we purchase, which comprises over 95% of what we spend our acquisitions dollars on year over year.  To begin to address this over-expenditure the Leddy Library is immediately implementing a cost reduction strategy to review our electronic resources collections and make cuts where it is advisable.   Leddy’s digital collections provide crucial support for research, teaching and learning.  While there are difficult decisions ahead, the Library will strive to continue to be careful stewards of the collections so key to the campus community. As we move through this process, we will continue to communicate and engage with faculty and students to gather feedback on proposed changes.  We will also make every effort to communicate with the campus on how the review will be conducted and how decisions  will be made.

To this end, the Leddy Library has initiated a collections cancellation review.  Details follow, and we are seeking feedback on the first phase of recommended cancellations from faculty, researchers and students.

Additionally, we are participating in a national project of 29 academic research libraries to assess and survey journal usage at our institutions. The bibliometric analysis of this project is being  done by Canada Research Chair in the Transformations of Scholarly Communication, Dr. Vincent Larivière, at the Université de Montréal. More information on this project will be sent to all Windsor faculty on January 16, 2017. Input will be sought for the journal titles that faculty use for their current teaching and research.

The core principles that guide our endeavors are:

  • Maintain core resources for teaching, learning & research at the University of Windsor
  • Maintain full-text e-journal, e-book and other primary source databases as much as possible.
  • Reduce duplication of content across formats and providers
  • Considering the multitude of means to ‘discover’ information (i.e. indexes and abstract resources) and focus content discovery through a smaller portfolio of tools
  • Maintain access to owned content and content for which we have perpetual-access rights

Some of the factors used to evaluate resources will include:

  • Low demonstrated demand and use
  • Extent the resource(s) support particular programs or areas of study/research/teaching
  • High or unjustified cost
  • Duplication with content in another resources
  • Problematic licensing terms
  • Feedback from faculty and students regarding the value/importance of resource(s)

The immediate target in the review aims to identify $250,000 in cancellations.  It will primarily focus on discovery tools such as indexes and abstracts as well as on a few full-text resources previously identified as low use. This list will be updated with further suggestions for cancellation, based on further resource review.

In our first phase of recommendations for cancellation, we are targeting $250,000 of cuts comprising the following resources:


Resource Provider Subject areas Resource type Alternative resources Current subscription end dates



Computer & Control Abstracts, Physics Abstracts and Electrical and Electronics Abstracts

Subject index to scholarly literature

Engineering Index, Chemical Abstracts, Web of Science and IEL library


Orlando : Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present

Cambridge University Press

United Kingdom Women’s literature

entries on authors' lives and writing careers, contextual
material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies.

print collection, open web resources


BioOne American Institute of Biological Sciences, SPARC, University of Kansas, Greater Western Library Alliance,  Allen Press. Biology aggregation of open access and subscription research journals JSTOR, Proquest, EBSCO Academic Complete, individual subscriptions March 31, 2017


American Psychological Association


Reviews of psychology related books, films, and videos by subject specialists


April 30, 2017


American Psychological Association


A unique and practical collection of candid psychotherapy videos

Physical Video Collection, Therapy/Counseling Transcripts, Online Videos Collection 

April 30, 2017

ATLA Religion Database Full Text


Religious studies

Subject index to scholarly literature & full-text religion and theology journals


June 30, 2017

Marquis Who’s Who on the Web

Marquis Who’s Who


Biographical information

This information is more readily available on the Web.

June 30, 2017

Women Writers Online

Northeastern University

Women’s writing

The Women Writers Project is a long-term research project devoted to early modern women's writing and electronic text encoding.

Very little use since 2012.

June 30, 2017

ArtSTOR Digital Library


Art & Architecture

1.9 million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences from outstanding museums, photo archives, photographers, scholars, and artists


December 30, 2017



All; strongest in STEM disciplines

Scholarly literature index

Web of Knowledge (Thomson Reuters)

December 30, 2018

We will also seek to renegotiate contracts coming up for renewal, for electronic resources which fall outside of our consortial agreements.

Communications and concerns about the review process in general or about specific titles targeted for cancellation should be sent to eresources@uwindsor.ca or to the University Librarian Pascal Calarco (pcalarco@uwindsor.ca).

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