Answered By: Robert Sebek
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2015     Views: 22

Electronic access to Nature and its many recent spinoffs (Nature Journals Online) was provided centrally through the statewide VIVA consortium. The multi-year contract was up for renewal and Nature Publishing demanded an increase that was simply not sustainable no matter how important the titles.

The VIVA resources committee recommended that everything but Nature itself be dropped. These changes went into effect Sept. 1, 2007.

The drop of the Nature spinoff titles at the state level left the VT Libraries in a quandary. We had to try to pick up what we could here while also dealing with a significant budget shortfall of our own. Since we had solid usage data over time and also knew all the subscription prices, we first ranked the titles in order of cost per actual article downloaded. We then started with the best value according to such a ranking and essentially just kept going until the cumulative total exceeded our ability to cover things locally at this point in time.

With we ended up deciding to do was to keep 16 titles for a total cost to us of some $46,500 per year. There seemed to be a natural breaking point in the data and these 16 titles accounted for about 90% of all downloads. We decided to allow 6 titles to lapse that were not competitive when doing this kind of cost analysis. This is no reflection on their quality, just that tough decisions sometimes need to be made. (Taking the two groups as a whole, the average cost per article of the lapsed titles was over 4 times more than that of the retained ones.) Depending on future budgets we may of course revisit these decisions and hopefully can pick a few of these back up again.

Those that were allowed to lapse include the following:

  1. Nature Chemical Biology
  2. Nature Neuroscience
  3. Nature Photonics
  4. Nature Physics
  5. Nature Protocols
  6. Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Here is a list of our current Nature journals.

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