Web of Science Campus Letter

Web of Science Database Not Renewed
This is to inform the UPEI campus community that we have not renewed our subscription to ISI's Web of Science database (WoS). We realize this is a key research database for many of you and we have taken steps to ensure access to appropriate alternative resources, as well as the WoS back‑files. Late last year we received notification that our subscription price was going to increase by 120%. A number of factors went into the decision not to renew:
‑ a challenging fiscal climate means that we are unlikely to see an increase to Library budgets;
‑ any subscription increase in these challenging times is difficult, but an increase of 120% is simply not acceptable;
‑ we would have been forced to sign a 3‑year agreement, with additional increases in each of the 3 years;
‑ a weaker Canadian dollar would have a significant impact on our subscription costs;
‑ accommodating this level of increase lends credence to the vendors' business practices and we felt it important to make a statement against these practices (see http://chronicle.com/article/U‑of‑California‑Tries‑Just/65823/ for a recent decision at UC).
In coming to this decision, we also had to deal with a lack of effective support from CRKN, which is the national licensing body which has negotiated the WoS and other licenses on our behalf. This has resulted in a challenge determining how best to ensure that we retain access to the system. Last week our access was cut off before we had developed a way to continue service to the component of the database what we have purchased. We "own" WoS backfile content from 1979‑2009 and are currently negotiating with ISI to ensure we retain appropriate access to that data. As soon as we have this worked out we will let you know.
In the meantime, we have prepared a guide listing databases that provide cited reference searching:
We are acquiring a "pay‑as‑you‑go" license to WoS for those that need to conduct searches with that product, and we will also conduct matching searches in databases like Google Scholar. Please contact your Library Liaison if you wish to know more (https://library.upei.ca/librarians).
UPEI is also leading an effort to create a free and open index to the world's scholarly literature called "Knowledge For All". This proposal is currently being sent to various Canadian and international library consortia in an effort to gain support for the project. One goal of Knowledge For All is to ensure that scholars and members of the broader public are no longer disenfranchised by a broken system of scholarly communication. We will provide the campus community with updates on this effort.
Please also contact me (566‑0460) if you have concerns or comments.
Mark Leggott, [Former] University Librarian

[This letter was published in June, 2010]

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