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Library Cancellation Projects

Details on NMSU Library cancellations

Final Cancellations

NMSU Library is pleased to announce that it has received assistance in the form of one time funds from the University Administration to provide much-needed relief to the Library’s diminishing materials budget. Specifically, contributions of $150,000 from the President’s Office and $50,000 from the Provost’s Office will reduce the number of serial titles slated for cancellation this December and will also allow the Library to continue purchasing requested books throughout the coming year.


In May 2012 the Library announced that it would be cancelling 276 journal titles to meet its target amount of $200,000.  University faculty contested the cancellation of 14 of the 276 titles, noting the high research value of each. Due to the generosity of the University Administration, the Library has reduced its cancellation list to 261 titles for a total cancellation amount of $167,935. These 261 journal titles show low use (10 or fewer uses), or no use, or cost $100 or more per use. In these times of budgetary austerity the Library must make difficult choices and must limit its subscriptions to publications of high use and/or low cost. A complete list of all titles slated for cancellation is available below.


Other budgets were negatively impacted this year, inlcuding the Library’s book budget that experienced a 64% reduction. Given current funding realities, the NMSU Library will continue to face serials cancellations and other reductions in the future as its budget remains static, its external revenue streams decline and serials subscription prices continue to increase annually by 4% or more.


This fall New Mexico voters will have the opportunity to support libraries through the successful passage of GO Bond B. This bond initiative will provide $9 million ($3 million each to public, academic and school libraries statewide) for the acquisition of library materials, and $700,000 to tribal libraries for the purchase of library materials and construction. NMSU Library is projected to receive approximately $386,090 from GO Bond B which will help support library collections.


The Library wants to thank the NMSU community for its participation in this year’s materials budget reduction process.  We value the time and energy this community contributed to this project. The Library strives to fulfill its mission of supporting and enhancing the teaching, research and outreach missions of the University.

End of Spring Semester 2012 Update

This spring the Library undertook a serials cancellation project to cover a projected shortfall in the library materials budget due to a flat budget and rising serials subscription costs. Our preliminary cancellation list of 339 titles was based on high cost per use (over $100 per use) and 10 or fewer uses during our data collection period. A complete description of our criteria for cancellation is described in the "Project Overview" box below. We sent this list to the campus community for comment and received requests to retain nearly 70 titles on the preliminary cancellation list. These titles totaled around $50,000, which put our cancellation list well below our target amount of $200,000. In an effort to meet our target amount, and limit the number of titles we had to cancel, we have decided to cancel only the five most expensive titles on the “request to retain” list, which—when combined with the 271 uncontested titles—will get us to approximately $200,000.

These five most expensive titles are:

Brain, behavior and evolution $3,321.08 ($640.30 cost-per-use)

This title is available fulltext from the ProQuest Enviromental Science Journals database with a 1 year embargo

Journal of Modern Optics $8,002.26 ($1,068.71 cost-per-use)

This title is available fulltext from the Academic Search Premier database with a 1 year embargo

Journal of Monetary Economics $2,376.66 ($623.66 cost-per-use)

Journal of Zoology $2,671.09 ($226.90 cost-per-use)

This title is available fulltext from the Environment Complete database with a 1 year embargo

Pure and Applied Geophysics $3,693.58 ($390.78 cost-per-use)

This title is available fulltext from several databases with 1 year embargo

Please note that four of the above-listed titles are available fulltext via one or more of our library database aggregators. A complete list of titles to be cancelled is available below.

The Library has researched document delivery costs for these five titles and they range from $31.50 to $43.00 per article once fair use has been exceeded. Researchers may request articles from these five journals (as well as any journal title to which the library does not subscribe) using our online Request It! Service ( and we will deliver .pdf copies to your desktop.

The NMSU Library appreciates the time and energy the University community has spent on this difficult project. Although the Library wasn’t able to retain every title requested by campus constituents, we were able to retain over 90% (62 out of 67) of the contested titles. We take our community’s feedback seriously and we strive to provide everyone on campus with access to needed information.

Unfortunately, we will continue to face serials cancellations, perhaps annually, as long as our materials budget remains static and the unsustainable scholarly communication business model persists. We have been working closely with the Provost’s office to increase our funding levels and will continue to advocate for a more robust materials budget in the months ahead. We will keep the campus posted and will provide updates if our budget situation changes. 

Serials Lists

Do you have questions and concerns about these lists and/or the cancellation project? Please contact your department's library subject specialist, or Professor Susan Beck (646-6171), or John Sandstrom, Acquisitions Librarian (646-8093).

Project Overview

This spring 2012 the NMSU Library is launching a serials cancellation project. We have been forced to embark on this project because the rising cost of journal subscriptions continues to outpace the Library’s perennially flat base budget. As our purchasing power declines, we must balance our FY13 budget by reducing subscriptions.

Serials cancellation projects are a reality that we will face again, each year, unless we see decreases in scholarly publishing costs, increases to our internal budget, or both.

Our target cancellation amount, $200,000, is based on inflation projections for serials (7%) and databases (5%), as well as cancellation penalties imposed by serial publishers. Serials and databases account for 91% of our materials budget expenditures. We are not alone in facing this difficulty. The cost of maintaining our current scholarly publishing system has challenged academic and research libraries across the country and, for us, has become unsustainable without increases to our base budget.

In Spring 2010, the Library undertook a much larger cancellation project in which it had to reduce its materials budget by 27%. That project saw 723 titles cancelled, for the amount of $578,311.26. Last year (FY11), the Library reduced its monograph budget by 60% and used GO Bond funding to avoid a serials cancellation project.

March 12-16: Library releases preliminary cancellation list, consisting of both electronic and print journals, and asks campus for feedback.
March 17-25: Spring break
Mid March through April: Library holds meetings with each college to provide opportunities for questions and feedback. 
April 30: Final list of serials cancellations is posted
May-August: Initiate serials cancellations with vendors
January 2013: Cancellations take effect 

For our electronic journal subscriptions, we looked at high cost, low use titles. Titles that had 10 or fewer uses in a 10 month period (January-October,  2011) and whose use was $100 or higher per use were selected for the Preliminary Cancellation List. The Library employs standard COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) usage data supplied by serials publishers. We chose a 10 month period in 2011, January through October, because that was the most consistent time period for which we could obtain the usage statistics from the maximum number of our COUNTER-compliant serials publishers. Due to  contractual agreements with some of our serials publishers for bundled titles, we had to remove some titles from the preliminary cancellation list per vendor contracts that stipulate the entire package must be cancelled and not individual title subscriptions.

We took a slightly different approach for our print titles. We used 2011 browse statistics from the Library's Current Periodical Reading Room but we also weighed print titles' availability in fulltext database aggregators together with their perceived importance to research and curricular needs.

The Preliminary Cancellation List totals over our target amount of $200,000 because we wished to provide the campus community opportunity to remove important titles.

Review the Preliminary Cancellation List (see box above), discuss any questions you have with your department's library subject specialist, attend a library forum held in your college (see College Forums box) and provide feedback by April 27th. In cases where you feel the Library must retain a title that is slated for cancellation, please let us know why the title should be retained, how that title supports the teaching and/or research needs of your program, department, or college.

The Library is working with University Administration to find ways to increase our materials budget to better support the University's growing research and teaching programs. We are proposing funding increases for three priority areas.
1. Increase the Library's material budget each year to offset inflation and to eliminate annual serials cancellations
2. Fund recurring costs to support doctoral programs approved since 2005
3. Fund additional STEM discipline research databases (IEEE Xplore, SciFinder Scholar Substructure Module & GeoBASE)

The Libary has also joined the Portico Consortium, a digital preservation and electronic archiving service. Our membership with Portico will improve our ability to offer perpetual access to titles that are canceled or discontinued.