Tackling Big Deals: the experience of Maastricht University

Monique Dikboom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose - This paper aims to describe the experiences of the Maastricht University Library in The Netherlands with regard to the evaluation of electronic subscriptions. For the evaluation of Big Deals, a tool was built to obtain an overview of the value of the package. For individual subscriptions, ways were investigated to keep rising costs under control. Design/methodology/approach - The paper shows the ways in which the library staff endeavoured to gain more control over the renewal of electronic content. Several options were investigated and tried out in practice. Findings - To use the evaluation tool, the faculties delivered core title lists of journals. After combining these with usage statistics, the titles in the package and the list prices of these titles, the staff are provided with a report. This report is very helpful for making a decision about the renewal. However, it is clear that it is difficult to control something the steep annual price increases of individual journals subscriptions. Originality/value - This is one of the very few papers published on attempts to control journal price increases. The paper describes a subject that libraries worldwide encounter and thus will help to meet the needs of library staff involved with collection and license management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-96
JournalInterlending & Document Supply
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Collection management
  • Consortia
  • Electronic journals
  • Subscriptions
  • Licences
  • Big deals

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