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What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?: A Community Conversation about Access to Journals and Other Scholarly Knowledge

Guide to accompany luncheon talks hosted by the Middlebury Library, March-June 2020


Please note: This series is on hold until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We will announce a new schedule as soon as we can.  Thank you for your interest!

This series of 4 conversations (2 in person, 2 online) is hosted by Middlebury Library and intended for interested faculty, staff, and students.  The topics will center around "big deal" journal packages, and how the Middlebury Library (and others) provide access to scholarly resources now and in the future.

What's the "Big Deal" Anyway?

“A Big Deal is a comprehensive licensing agreement in which a library or library consortium agrees to buy electronic access to all or a large portion of a publisher’s journals for a cost based on expenditures for journals already subscribed to by the institution(s) plus an access fee. Multi-year Big Deal agreements typically limit the ability of the library to eliminate subscriptions or reduce expenditures to the publisher while specifying an annual price increase that is less than the price increases that would apply if the library continued to purchase the individual journals.”

Kenneth Frazier (2005) What's the Big Deal?, The Serials Librarian, 48:1-2, 49-59, DOI: 10.1300/J123v48n01_06
Note: Frazier coined the term "big deal" in relation to library journal packages in 2001.


The local conversations beginning in March 2020 will be led by:

Douglas Black, Head of Collections Management.  Douglas oversees collection development for the Middlebury Libraries

Terry Simpkins, Director, Discovery and Access Services.  Terry manages the portions of the library that include Collections Management, Interlibrary Loan, Borrowing Services, and Systems.

Assisted by:

Arabella Holzapfel, Electronic Resources Manager/Library Systems Specialist.  Arabella manages the serials and journals holdings for the Library.

Michael D. Roy, Dean of the Library.  Mike has overall responsibility for the Middlebury Libraries.  He is a strong advocate of Open Access resources.