Walt Crawford’s Big Deal and the Damage Done

I bought an ebook copy of Walt Crawford’s new book The Big Deal and the Damage Done and have read or skimmed it all. It analyzes serials and monograph spending from all types of academic libraries every which way. Chart after chart demonstrates the dramatic restructuring of library budgets most likely because of one relatively recent publishing model, the Big Deal. It lends some quantitative support to my contention that Big Deals screw the humanities, and really anything else that isn’t a STEM ejournal. The final paragraph:

What I do believe: If things continue along the same line as they have from 2000 to 2010, the damage done may become irreparable, as a growing number of academic libraries become little more than subsidized article transfer mechanisms. That would be a shame.

If you’re at all interested in the issue, definitely get a copy. I’ll be writing more about it in my Academic Newswire column for next week, so I won’t say more about it now.

4 thoughts on “Walt Crawford’s Big Deal and the Damage Done

  1. Thanks for the kind words. I had no idea what I’d find when I started this project (the joys of honest analysis!)–and it was worse than I expected.

    • I took a look at that post. It seems to me that Crawford and Beall are writing about two different issues. If by the “serials crisis” you mean that libraries are having to drop subscriptions, then yes, that’s over and the Big Deals stopped the practice of being able to drop subscriptions to save money. Walt is showing how the percentage of library spending has moved significantly to ejournal content at the expense of everything else, including monographs. These are different issues. Yes, libraries have more access to scholarly journals. They also have less access to everything else.

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