Update on Springer Journals

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Budget context

As the University works towards modernization and financial sustainability, the library has deployed a number of strategies to identify cost-savings, including a reduction of the collections budget by 6% for 2023-24. As a result of this, as well as ongoing collections assessment work, we have determined that we will need to cancel one major subscription package. Learn more about the challenges facing library collections budgets on the Collections Budget page.

Update on Springer journals

The library performs ongoing collections assessment to ensure that our purchases and subscriptions continue to meet the evolving needs of our academic programs and research enterprise. Given the collections budget reduction this year, and after careful consideration, we have made the decision to cancel our subscription to our “Big Deal” journals package with Springer Nature Publishing. While we will no longer have access to new issues of many Springer journals starting in January 2024, we will retain access to all Springer content that we currently have access to (1997-2023 for most titles, longer for some), as well as the journal titles listed below.

The ending of the Springer “Big Deals” subscription does not impact Nature journal subscriptions or the book purchasing of Springer imprints including Palgrave.

How are subscription decisions made?

When we assess major journal packages, we consider many factors:

  • In-depth analysis of aggregated usage statistics over time
  • The cost and cost-per-use of journal subscriptions and journal packages
  • The volume of journal content that is already available through open access.
  • U of G’s publishing and citation patterns within those journals.
  • Analysis of our licenses to determine whether we have perpetual access rights that ensure continued access to past journal issues for our users.
  • Feedback from other university libraries who have navigated these same cancellations in the past. We have gained important insights from our peers at other institutions about the potential impacts of a major cancellation and ways to mitigate these impacts on our users.
    • We discuss our mitigation strategy in the “Structural Challenges” section of the Collections Budget page.

Why Springer?

Here are the considerations that factored into our decision:

Usage: High usage patterns within the Springer package are concentrated in a small number of journal titles. More than other packages, the Springer package has a high number of very low-use titles, which diminishes the value that we receive for a large subscription bundle. Much of this demand can be met through the strategic purchase of a smaller number of titles while still meeting our reduction target. The full list of retained titles is available under Retained Springer journal titles below.

Cost: Each of our “Big Deal” packages represents a significant cost to the collections budget. The Springer Big Deal cost us approximately $365,000 CAD last year, representing a major portion of our budget reduction target. Many titles in the package had a very high cost-per-use compared with other journal packages.

Perpetual access rights: We have previously negotiated perpetual access to Springer journal content from 1997 to 2023. We will continue to retain this content even after we cancel our subscription. This is particularly advantageous since our usage analysis revealed much heavier use of older Springer articles compared with other publisher content.

Open access: In our analysis, we noted that Springer’s content is, to a greater degree than other publishers, available through open access and author self-archiving.

These findings brought us to the conclusion that, on balance, the loss of Springer content would have the least impact on our users while doing the most to help us reach our budget reduction goals.

What is the library doing to ensure minimal impact to the U of G community?

The library has developed a mitigation strategy to minimize impact to the services that the U of G community has come to rely on.

Interlibrary Loan

We have greatly streamlined the process of requesting materials from other libraries. Requesting can be done directly through Omni. Learn more about interlibrary loans.

LibKey Nomad

Nomad is a browser extension that streamlines access to both openly available content and library subscription content from anywhere on the internet. Download LibKey Nomad, or learn more on our Install LibKey Nomad guide.

Retained Springer journal titles

The library is retaining the following Springer titles. If you would like a full list of cancelled titles, please email ul@uoguelph.ca.

  1. Agriculture and Human Values
  2. Apidologie
  3. Biodiversity and Conservation
  4. Biological Invasions
  5. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery
  6. Canadian Journal of Public Health
  7. Climatic Change
  8. Economic Botany
  9. Environmental and Ecological Statistics
  10. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
  11. Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  12. Food and Bioprocess Technology
  13. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
  14. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics
  15. Journal of Food Science and Technology
  16. Oecologia
  17. Plant and Soil
  18. Precision Agriculture
  19. Psychopharmacology
  20. Sports Medicine
  21. The Botanical Review
  22. Wetlands
  23. Archives of Sexual Behavior
  24. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review
  25. Critical Criminology
  26. Early Childhood Education Journal
  27. Feminist Legal Studies
  28. Food Ethics
  29. Food Security
  30. Journal of African American Studies
  31. Journal of Business and Psychology
  32. Journal of Child and Family Studies
  33. Journal of Family Violence
  34. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
  35. Journal of International Migration and Integration
  36. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
  37. Journal of Youth and Adolescence
  38. Sex Roles
  39. Social Justice Research
  40. Society
  41. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
  42. Agronomy for Sustainable Development
  43. Behavior Research Methods
  44. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  45. Biological Theory
  46. Biology & Philosophy
  47. Biomolecular NMR Assignments
  48. Business & Information Systems Engineering
  49. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
  50. Cluster Computing
  51. Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  52. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
  53. Ethics and Information Technology
  54. Food Analytical Methods
  55. Food Biophysics
  56. Human Ecology
  57. International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing (IJIDeM)
  58. Journal of Biomolecular NMR
  59. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization
  60. Journal of Nanoparticle Research
  61. Journal of Polymers and the Environment
  62. Water Resources Management


Send an email to ul@uoguelph.ca.

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: lib.a11y@uoguelph.ca