The serials cancellation crisis: National trends in academic library serials collections

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1997


Elsevier B.V.


Domestic serials cancellation and serials holdings records for 3 years (1992–1994) from 10 U.S. academic research libraries were collected and analyzed to describe broad characteristics of domestic serial collections, to determine how recent rounds of serial cancellations have affected academic research collections nationwide, and to identify national trends in serial collections. The data were obtained from the database of The Faxon Company with the permission of the libraries participating in the study. The results confirm the conclusions of previous studies, which determined that academic libraries were cancelling journals unique to their collections and other collections. The cancellation overlap rate continues to document a trend toward maintaining duplicated core serial collections at the expense of peripheral and unique subscriptions. The balance among disciplines has not changed, despite the significant serial cancellations that have taken place over the past several years. Furthermore, in a shift from previous findings, all areas of domestic serials appear to be at risk for cancellation.