Opposition to John Wiley & Sons Requiring the CSU to Purchase Access to Unwanted Journals in its Bundling of Online Journals

AS-3202-15/FGA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) affirm that ready access to scholarly information is central to the academic success of the nearly 450,000 students and faculty of the California State University (CSU); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU hold that the recent decision by John Wiley & Sons (Wiley) to offer journals only in ‘bundled’ sets (the contents of which to be determined by Wiley, without input from the libraries) will force CSU libraries to purchase unwanted journals, resulting in a significantly higher cost that many libraries in the system cannot bear; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU endorse the decision by the libraries of the CSU to reject the terms proposed by Wiley for online journal access; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge CSU faculty, where appropriate, to avoid using Wiley textbooks and other educational materials in their classes until a new system-wide agreement with Wiley providing affordable access for all CSU campuses is reached; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU suggest faculty consider using, as an alternative, the open-source materials available via such resources as MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) and CA-OER (California Open Educational Resources); and be it further

RESOLVED: That ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, Timothy P. White, Chancellor of the CSU, Council of Library Deans (COLD), campus Senate Chairs, CSU Provosts, Katherine Harris, Chair California Open Educational Resources Council (CA-OERC), Gerry Hanley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services, Intersegmental Council of Academic Senates  (ICAS), Board of Directors, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed (website), Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal, Elsevier Publishing and Thompson Educational Publication, Inc.

RATIONALE: On December 19, 2014 the CSU Council of Library Directors made the decision to not continue, as a system, to provide system-wide access to a collection of over 1300 scholarly and professional electronic journals published by John Wiley & Sons (Wiley).  The reason for this was that the CSU was unable to reach an agreement with Wiley that met the CSU’s goal of providing equitable access across the 23 campuses of the system at prices that the many campuses could afford.  In particular, the terms offered by Wiley would have meant a cost increase of 10-12%, nearly double the average reported 2014 journal inflation rates reported by Library Journal in 2014.  The rationale used by Wiley was that it would include additional journals in the collection, but these journals were not of interest to the CSU.

While since that time a number of CSU campuses have entered into individual agreements with Wiley to purchase access to article packages of differing sizes and costs, to date 10 campuses have not.  This, however, has led to inequities in student and faculty access to academic journals, a problem that will persist until a uniform system-wide agreement has been reached.

The action by Wiley may have a negative impact of the scholarly work of our faculty and the education we provide to our students.  The action is even more egregious when one considers that the content of these journals is developed by faculty with no reimbursement from Wiley.  CSU faculty should be encouraged to select textbooks and other educational materials from publishers which are more reasonable in their pricing policies.  To this end, in addition to traditional textbook and course materials, faculty may find it useful to consider adoption of alternative open-source materials available through resources such as:



    Approved – March 20, 2015



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