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Tutt Library Research Guides

Electronic Resources: Cost$

Quick fixes for when something isn't working; direct journal links; information on costs.

Increasing Costs

Example of increasing costs of Electronic Resources.  This assumes a starting cost of $2,000,000 for library budget, $900,000 for electronic resources.  Library budget increasing at 2% and electronic resources increasing at 5%, over 20 years.  Note how a seemingly small percentage difference in increases leads to electronic resources overtaking the budget over time.

Cost of electronic resources

Why do electronic resources cost so much?  Why can't it all be free?

Any product costs money, labor and time to produce. If a web-based product such as a database is not supported by advertising revenue, it must be supported financially in some other way.

Why don't we have all databases available?

Tutt Library's budget is healthy for the size of the College, but it can only support so many resources.  We don't have unlimited funds.

Why don't we have all electronic journals?

Although not all publishers are commercial, many journals are published by societies which rely on journal revenues in order to survive and fund other functions, such as conferences.  Many scholarly journals are much more expensive as an institutional subscription than a personal one. As with databases, we don't have unlimited funds to purchase subscriptions to every single electronic journal out there.

Why don't we have complete coverage of all the electronic journals we do have access to? (All years from beginning to current).

The answer depends on where we get a particular journal.  In some cases we get access to part of a journal run through an aggregator; we didn't choose that specific journal and we are reliant on the aggregator for whatever coverage we can get.  For JSTOR journals, we get a very good deal on JSTOR archival collections but may not be able to afford the current issues that are published by another company or organization.  Often the backfiles for a particular journal package are too expensive for us to buy.

Cost of journal packages

For the price of one year of Elsevier ScienceDirect, you could buy a vacation cabin with a lake view (in some areas of the country)

A year's subscrption of Wiley Online Library would get you a brand new, deluxe Cadillac Escalade.

A year's subscription to Sage Premiere is about the price of a good speedboat.

Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: