The unbundling of Elsevier ScienceDirect

In October, the Library shared a news story explaining that, in response to the extraordinary financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has reduced capital budgets across campus, including the Library’s collections budget for FY21. The Library is strategically reducing spending on books, journals, and other materials to minimize impact on teaching and research, including unbundling package subscriptions from some publishers, such as Elsevier's ScienceDirect journals. This has required intense scrutiny of all journals we receive through our ScienceDirect package as we made decisions on which titles to retain and which to cancel. 

We have completed our review of Elsevier ScienceDirect titles and have decided which titles we will retain and which we will cancel. Critical to our decision making was consideration of various data, including:

  • Cost per use of individual journals (list price divided by annual journal use)
  • List price of journal
  • Usage trends over time
  • Content availability through open access (usually after an embargo period)

In addition, we carefully considered the following:

  • Prioritizing research journals over trade/magazines journals
  • Creating a balance among sub-disciplines and not making excessive cuts in one area as compared to another

For some cancelled titles, access to older volumes may be available because we previously had purchased the online archives. We may also hold some of the older volumes in print; these will be available through our Scan & Deliver service.

Please note that we have joined RapidILL, a service that enables much faster delivery of articles requested through interlibrary loan by leveraging behind-the-scenes automation. For questions please contact a subject librarian or send an email to 

A complete list of titles that we retained and titles that we cancelled is available online.