CARL Members Release Journal Subscription Cost Data

May 11, 2018 – University library members of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) have jointly released their 2016-17 expenditure data for journal and database subscriptions licensed through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network consortium.

The CARL Scholarly Communications Roadmap identified the need for more collective action toward greater transparency of licensing information among member institutions. As publicly funded institutions, research libraries recognize that it is in the public’s interest that they provide maximum transparency about the costs and license information of the contractual arrangements for information resources and services into which they enter. 

Donna Bourne-Tyson, CARL President, commented, “The sharing of subscription expenditures for CRKN-licensed resources is an important first step towards increasing the transparency of the Canadian scholarly publishing environment.”

A dataset and associated summary table have been released detailing expenditure costs of CARL member university libraries for their subscriptions for 2016-17. The data is not comprehensive of all CARL member libraries, and for those included, it is not comprehensive of their licensed subscriptions.

Click to access data set

Important considerations to interpreting the data


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CARL members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries. Enhancing research and higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL develops the capacity to support this mission, promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

For more information, please contact:

Susan Haigh

Executive Director
Canadian Association of Research Libraries
(613) 482-9344 ext. 101