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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


Bergstrom, Ted, Richard Uhrig, and Kristin Antelman. “Looking under the COUNTER for Overcounted Downloads,” June 5, 2018.

Buranyi, Stephen. "Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of Scientific Publishing Bad for Science?" The Guardian (2017 June 27)

Frazier, Kenneth. "What's the Big Deal?," The Serials Librarian, 48:1-2, 49-59 (2005).

Larivière, Vincent, Stefanie Haustein, and Philippe Mongeon, “The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era,” PLoS ONE 10, no. 6 (2015).

Schonfeld, Roger C. "Is the Value of the Big Deal in Decline?" The Scholarly Kitchen (2019 March 7).

Schonfeld, Roger C. "To Bundle or Not to Bundle? That Is the Question" The Scholarly Kitchen (2019 April 13).

Shu, Fei, Philippe Mongeon, Stefanie Haustein, Kyle Siler, Juan Pablo Alperin, & Vincent Larivière. "Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era." College & Research Libraries [Online], 79.6 (2018).

SPARC. "Elsevier Exit: Q&A with Florida State University about their Big Deal Cancellation(s)."  SPARC (2020 February 25]

Wood-Doughty, Alex, Ted Bergstrom, & Douglas G. Steigerwald. "Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens?." College & Research Libraries [Online], 80.5 (2019).

Other Resources

SPARC Resources

  • Big Deal Tracker - Details "what thousands of peer institutions have paid for journal subscription packages. ... The Big Deal Knowledge Base helps the market work better and lowers the transaction costs of finding already public information. This is intended to help universities plan better"
  • Contracts Library - Full texts of big deal license agreements
  • Big Deal Cancellation Tracking