University of Calgary cancels journal subscriptions

Canadian institution makes move in bid to save C$1.5 million in fees

January 23, 2017
Academic journals
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The University of Calgary has become the latest Canadian institution to cancel subscriptions to hundreds of journals in a bid to save C$1.5 million (£910,000) in fees.

The university, located in Canada’s Alberta province, cancelled more than 1,600 titles, more than half of which are published by Taylor & Francis and a significant proportion of which are published by Oxford University Press.

The university’s library made the decision after five leading publishers hiked their subscription prices to access articles, according to CBC News.

The University of Ottawa and Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) made similar moves last year. In September, Ottawa announced that it would cancel subscriptions to more than 8,000 journal titles in order to help save C$1.9 million from its budget, while MUN terminated subscriptions to thousands of journals last January.

Tamara Shepherd, assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s department of communication, media and film, told CBC News that the cuts initially led to “shock” and “outrage”.

However, she added: “It’s easy to place blame on the library for cutting them, but really the problem lies with the publishers, because there’s a totally unsustainable publishing model in academic work.”

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