Books & Journal Collections In Transition
Funding Scholarly Communication


A number of factors drive the cost of scholarly books and journals. Unpredictable changes in any one or combination of these factors dramatically affect how successfully the UC Davis University Library can acquire and provide access to information resources that support the research, teaching, and patient care efforts of UC Davis faculty, staff, and students.

Book and journal production rates:

Book and journal inflation rates

Based on statistics gathered from 125 members of the Association of Research Libraries (UC Davis is a member):

  • Between 1986 and 2011 for ARL members:
    • Book expenditures rose 99% while journal expenditures rose 402%
  • For UC Davis University Library between 2008 and 2012:
    • Book expenditures rose on average 12%
    • Locally subscribed journal expenditures (print and electronic) rose on average 29%
    • UC CDL licensed ejournal expenditures rose on average 8.5%


Foreign currency exchange affecting book and journal cost

  • For 2012 the average exchange rate for the US dollar resulted in a 3% reduction in purchasing power
  • For March, 2013 the average exchange rate for the US dollar resulted in a 2% reduction in purchasing power

Commercial publisher mergers and acquisitions of society publishing efforts reducing the number of options to disseminate scholarly information:

Various investment reports for science, technology, and medical journal publishers show an average subscription rate increase of 20-30% after a merger or acquisition. This chart indicates the consolidation of control among commercial scholarly publishers illustrating that more than 40 major publishers are now controlled by six entities. (PDF version of chart)

Reed Elsevier Taylor & Francis Informa Wolters Kluwer Candover & Cinven Wiley Blackwell Verlagsgruppe George von Holtzbrinck
~1800 journals ~1000 journals ~275 journals ~1350 journals ~1250 journals ~70 journals
Academic Press AA Balkema Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Kluwer A.R. Liss Nature Publishing/ Macmillan
Cell Press BIOS Scientific Publishers Adis International Springer GIT Verlag Scientific American
Congressional Information Service CRC Press     Scripta Technica WH Freeman
Elsevier Curzon Press     VCH Bedford, Freeman Worth
Engineering Information Gordon & Breach     Wiley  
Excerpta Medica Harwood Academic     Interscience  
Harcourt Marcel Dekker     Blackwell Publishing  
Morgan Kaufmann Routledge     Blackwell Publishing Asia  
Mosby Swets Zeitlinger     Blackwell Synergy  
Pergamon Press Taylor & Francis     Munksgaard  
Urban & Fischer Garland Science        
WB Saunders          

New UC Davis academic programs that require formats other than print or Internet-based resources:

Information for new undergraduate majors, such as film studies, is found on CD-ROMs and DVDs in addition to the traditional book and journal.


The factors mentioned above play more devastating roles to university research, teaching, and patient care when Library's book and journal budget either remains flat (with no annual increases) or is reduced. As a result the Library:

  • Cannot continue to acquire books and to subscribe to journals at the same rate as in the past
  • Cannot support multiple formats, but must select the format (print or electronic) that best serves the majority of the targeted users
  • Cannot acquire materials for all faculty research or teaching areas of interest

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