Skip to main content

Subscription Review Project: Home

Information and decisions for renewing The University of Winnipeg's Library subscriptions.


Like many other academic libraries across Canada we are facing currency exchange and inflationary pressures on our acquisitions budget.

Although the acquisitions budget has benefited from generous annual increases from the University; our current subscription holdings are increasingly difficult to sustain, and our spending must be managed in order to balance our budget and allow for new products/material in the future.

The decline in the value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar in recent years has reduced our purchasing power. Unfortunately, projections by major banks indicate the dollar will remain lower for the foreseeable future. This, on top of annual increases for databases and serials, affects our budget as most of our purchasing is done with US vendors and invoiced in USD.

The Library’s collecting practices will be reviewed, and this project will be a move towards greater transparency, collaboration and evidence-based decision making around the library resources we license. Over the next several years we will be reviewing all of our subscription resources, both databases and serials, in order to keep the maximum possible number of high quality resources that will help us meet our teaching, learning, and research needs. In order to balance the budget we will not be able to renew every subscription or fulfill every request for new material.

The Project

Since the database/serial subscriptions encompass the largest part of the acquisition budget, this will be our main focus for this project; however other areas may be impacted as we work through the process. 

Our goal is to ensure that every subscription up for renewal undergoes careful consideration and evaluation before being renewed.This will allow us opportunities to reduce costs by cancelling under-used subscriptions, subscriptions that are not cost-effective or overlap substantially with our other resources.

A review of our databases has not been done in recent years, and although the drop in the Canadian dollar has made this a necessity it is also an opportunity to examine our digital collections and their usage. There may be a variety of reasons why some of them are not getting used to their potential including content duplication, changes in course/program foci, and discoverability.

It is our hope that this review project will help identify these types of resources allowing us to build and strengthen our collections to support current and future teaching, learning and research needs. We also want to ensure that Library funds are being used effectively, and in a responsible manner. We appreciate the understanding and input of our community during this project.


Bottom Line

Cancellation savings:

2016-2017 = $105,054

2017-2018 = coming soon

We hope to accomplish this by:

  • identify the level of use within our resources
  • contain our subscription costs - reduce our spending by cancelling subscriptions with on-going costs that are not cost-effective, necessary or highly-used
  • reduce duplication of content among resources
  • maintain access to owned content for which we have perpetual access
  • maintain an appropriate balance of subscription resources among disciplines and departments
  • rely more on open access, ILL and document delivery, and
  • explore other acquisition options such as pay-per-view, and Demand Driven Acquisitions
  • share information with our user community, and invite feedback

Senate Library Committee: Library Users' Group Meeting


This site is a work in progress; we will continue to add and update it as information becomes available.

Please send your questions or concerns to:

Your Subject Librarian -

Or the general email -


Databases Terms of Use