Private Liberal Arts Colleges and the Costs of Scientific Journals: A Perennial Dilemma

Paul D. Burnam

Abstract

The continuing large increases in the costs of scientific journals is particularly acute in private, four-year liberal arts colleges. This study seeks to learn how academic librarians in these institutions are coping with the price increases. How do they inform and negotiate with their science departments in the face of inflated costs? What alternate strategies are employed to maintain access when local ownership becomes economically unfeasible? Using information obtained via questionnaire and personal interviews, this study describes how liberal arts colleges in the Midwest are confronting these challenges. The conclusion offers suggestions on how to manage a most vexing issue.

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