Library Subscription Cancellation Project

Earlier this year the Library made presentations to the budget advisory committee and at faculty council meetings, explaining the challenging budget situation resulting from a weak Canadian dollar and ongoing inflationary cost increases for scholarly materials. With 80% of the Library’s annual $2.4 million acquisitions budget allocated to subscription resources (journals, ebook packages and databases), it was apparent that it would be necessary to undertake a collection assessment and cancellation project with a focus on reducing database subscriptions.

Cancellation decisions were based on factors including database cost, use, and content overlap, as well as feedback from library subject specialists and faculty members. In some cases cost was the most significant factor, however sometimes decisions were based on factors such as very low usage relative to the size of the primary user group, content that was duplicated or overlapped heavily with other resources, and content that no longer supported curricular needs.

Initial projections suggested that it might be necessary to reduce subscription costs by about $250,000. However, although inflation remains a concern, the Canada/US exchange rate has improved and as a result the library was able to balance the acquisitions budget for 17/18 with cancellations totalling $193,000. Over the course of this project we sought input from faculty members and, when concerns were raised about the cancellation of a particular resource, we made every effort to preserve access to that content.

The library recognizes that these cancellations may impact faculty and students. If you have concerns about specific titles appearing on the list, please contact your library liaison who will assist you with identifying alternate resources and answer any questions. Find your library liaison here.

Databases that will be cancelled during the 2017/18 academic year are:

Title of Resource Being Cancelled/Downgraded

Reason for Cancellation

Cancellation Date


USDA makes available for free so no reason to pay >$2000.

Dec. 31, 2017


Low use; high cost. Much of the content unique to this database comes from American regional news publications (e.g. Arkansas Times, Colorado Springs Independent, Salt Lake City Weekly, Willamette Week, etc.) easily accessible through general Internet searches.

Aug. 31, 2017

Bibliography of British and Irish History

Very low use, only 12 sessions in 2016.

Dec. 31, 2017


Low usage; significant overlap with other library databases; high percentage of content is already open access.

Dec. 31, 2017

Books 24x7

Platform requires a 2nd login on campus as well as off; not possible to link directly to any specific ebooks for course assigned readings (must first link to library catalogue record, login twice, and then access book). Expensive database; in 2016 50% of usage comes from just 10 ebook titles (20% of that usage comes from 1 book title); those top 10 titles could be acquired outside this database inexpensively. Ebooks in database tend to be 4-5 years old. Library is retaining another large business ebook package (Ebsco's Ebook Business Collection, with 16,000 titles covering all major business topics).

Jul. 31, 2017

Child Development & Adolescent Studies

Provides unique current indexing (NOT fulltext) for only 2 journals, neither of which the library has fulltext access to. Everything else in this database is available through other common library sources such as Academic Search Complete and SocINDEX.

Dec. 31, 2017

CINAHL Complete [DOWNGRADE to CINAHL Plus with Full Text]

Library determined that the most pertinent content in CINAHL Complete is also available in CINAHL Plus or other library databases (Science Direct, Nursing & Allied Health Source, etc.). Data suggests downgrade back to CINAHL Plus would not impact student/faculty research in a noticeable way.

Dec. 31, 2017

Emerald Management Xtra (Emerald 175) [DOWNGRADE to Emerald 120]

Titles unique to Emerald 175 (not in 120) got about 10% of total use in 2016, whereas remaining 90% of used titles in 2016 would all be found in the Emerald 120; most of the highest use unique titles in the 175 are also available in ABI Inform with a 1 year embargo. This downgrade preserves the most used content while allowing for redistribution of necessary funds.

Dec. 31, 2017

Family & Society Studies Worldwide

Provides unique current indexing (NOT fulltext) for 2 journals (only one of which the library has fulltext access to, and that access would NOT be lost by cancelling this database). Everything else in this database is available through other common library sources such as Academic Search Complete and SocINDEX.

Dec. 31, 2017

Gender Studies Database

This database provides indexing only for 440 titles (NOT fulltext). Of these, 416 are ALL available in either SocINDEX, Sociological Abstracts, and/or Academic Search Complete. Of the 24 remaining titles, only 16 lead to fulltext journals and only TWO of them are not searchable through the library's main search box. Cancelling this database does NOT cancel our access to these 2 titles, only limits their searchability.

Dec. 31, 2017

Health & Wellness Resource Center

Consumer health information database – this information is available freely from other reputable sources (e.g. Medline Plus). The library already owns digital copies of most of the health encyclopedias in this database (e.g. Gale Encyclopedias of: Alternative Medicine, Senior Health, Public Health, etc.), so that content is not lost.

Aug. 31, 2017

IEEE Xplore Digital Library [DOWNGRADE to identical journal and conference content without pre-2010 backfiles]

As current content is of greatest value to the area of study, cancelling the backfiles (no longer have access prior to 2010) preserves the important content while allowing for redistribution of funds. Pre-2010 content is still available through inter-library loan.

Dec. 31, 2017

Literature Criticism Online

Expensive database (costs over $48,000/year) and low use; primarily EXCERPTED criticism which, in most cases, does not satisfy student assignment or research guidelines.

Jun. 30, 2017

Music Index

Content overlaps with RILM (which is a much larger database and being retained) and Music Index only sees 17% of the usage that RILM does. No full-text content.

Dec. 31, 2017

Natural Medicines

The content in this database is not unique; library already has good coverage in the areas of natural medicines and complementary therapies readily available from AltHealthwatch, Medline Plus, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, etc. This database is also not taught through library information literacy sessions & subject librarians do not direct students to this.

Dec. 31, 2017

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Content is not scholarly and is very similar to Canadian Points of View Reference Centre (which is being retained). Very low use; gets only 1.57% of the usage that Canadian Points of View Reference Centre does.

Dec. 31, 2017

Passport GMID (Euromonitor)

Expensive (>$25,000/yr) with low usage. The library has been monitoring this database due to low usage for several years.

Dec. 31, 2017


With faculty consultation, it was determined that Mental Measurements Yearbook was the better resource for our students. At the undergraduate level, using actual tests isn't a common occurrence and Mental Measurements Yearbook, the library's other test database, is being retained. 

Aug. 31, 2017

Royal Society Journal package S [DOWNGRADE to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences AND Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences]

Downgrading to the 2 highest used journals that account for 75% of usage within the existing package (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences AND Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences). The other journals will STILL be available, but they will have a waiting period (1-4 years); articles within that waiting period may be obtained through inter-library loan. This downgrade preserves the most used content while allowing for redistribution of funds.

Dec. 31, 2017

Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide

This is an indexing-only database (no fulltext access). Only 12.6% (117 of 926 journals) of the indexing in this database is unique, all other content is overlapped or ceased. The unique content is primarily zoology and ornithology, not all scholarly, and this index makes only 11 of our fulltext journals searchable in the library's main search box. Access to these journals is NOT lost by cancelling this database.

Dec. 31, 2017

Last Updated: May 5th, 2017