Wiley Journals at CSUSM

**December 2018 Update**

Please see the updated FAQ regarding Wiley here:  https://biblio.csusm.edu/content/wiley-faq. Thanks to all who provided input, questions, and feedback regarding the Library's Wiley Journals subscription.

The Library is seeking to tailor its electronic journal collection to best meet the needs of students and faculty and is considering cancelling subscriptions to some journals published by Wiley.  This page contains information about the CSUSM Wiley subscription and how you can provide your feedback.

Please note: Though the Library is considering cancelling some journal subscriptions, articles from any non-subscribed journal can be requested through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which has no cost for users.1  Articles requested through ILL are typically received within 1-2 days, and many are received within hours of being requested.  Please see the Interlibrary Loan FAQ for more information about Interlibrary Loan. 

The Wiley "Big Deal" Journal Subscription

CSUSM's access to many Wiley journals is provided by a type of agreement commonly known in libraries as a "Big Deal". A Big Deal journal package bundles together hundreds or thousands of titles, and the bundled package is sold to libraries at a rate that represents a deep discount on the list price of the individual journals in the bundle. Although this seems like a good investment, a large percentage of the journals in the Big Deal package are often not highly in demand and may therefore see little use. Over time, inflationary increases result in the journal package cost becoming unsustainable for the library, which is what has happened in the case of Wiley journals at CSUSM.

Wiley Costs, Usage, and Overlap

In 2018, the total cost of the Wiley subscription package, which contains approximately 1579 titles, was $89,674.05.  This cost represents over 36% of the library's budget for periodicals. Annual compounding inflationary increases are typically between 5% and 6%; since 2016, the cost of the Wiley subscription package has increased over $9,000.

Wiley titles were analyzed for overall usage and usage of articles published in the previous year.  Because many Wiley journals are available with embargo2 from other library subscriptions or databases, median use of recently published articles (articles published within the last year of publication or LYOP) was selected as a key metric for determining which journals should retain subscriptions at CSUSM.

Complete data from this analysis is available on SharePoint3 and key findings include:

  • 354 titles (22%) received no use of recently published articles at all;
  • 1086 titles (68%) received fewer than five uses of recently published articles;
  • 549 titles (34%) are accessible through other journal or database platforms with a one year (or less) embargo;
  • 71 titles (4%) are fully, currently accessible through other journal or database platforms with no embargo; and
  • 27 titles (1.7%) have within the last few years become no longer accessible through Wiley (due to platform change or ceased publication)

List of Wiley Titles Recommended for Continuing Subscription

Based upon high usage of recently published articles and overall usage, the 28 journals listed below are recommended for ongoing subscription at CSUSM.

Those journals not recommended for ongoing subscription can be found at the full list on SharePoint.

*Access provided by bundled subscription with another journal

Total estimated cost of retained subscriptions: $42,949.00

Total annual savings: $46,725.05

High Use Journals Not Recommended for Continuing Subscription

In the analysis of Wiley costs and usage, six titles were identified that are highly used (among the top 30) but are not recommended for continuing subscription.

Three of these titles had high usage of recent content, but also had very high list prices for individual subscription:

Journal Annual Subscription Cost Cost Per Use if Individual Subscription Continued Journal Access After Big Deal Cancellation
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences $7,504 $131.65 1997-2018; current articles available through Interlibrary Loan
The Journal of Physiology $9,123 $200.51 1878-1 year ago (rolling 1 year embargo); current articles available through Interlibrary Loan


The cost per use of these journals exceeds the median cost for copyright clearance for an article requested and received through Interlibrary Loan (approximately $36).  It is therefore more cost effective to pay copyright clearance costs for individual articles than it is to pay for a subscription to these journals.

Three titles with high usage have current access provided by CSUSM Library's other online subscriptions, and therefore an individual subscription is not needed:

What Happens After the Wiley "Big Deal" Subscription is Cancelled?

  • All previously subscribed journal content (the “backfiles”) will continue to be available in full text — it is only content published after 2019 that will be affected. New articles published beginning in 2019 will need to be requested through Interlibrary Loan unless they are from one of the journals recommended for continued subscription.

  • Subscriptions will begin for the 26 individual titles listed above in January 2019. There will be no interruption in access.
  • Articles from cancelled journals will continue to be discoverable in the Library's OneSearch tool and Library databases where they are indexed, and can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Savings from the Wiley cancellation will be reinvested into Library collections, enabling new journal and database subscriptions.

We Are Seeking Your Feedback

Please let us know your thoughts regarding Wiley journals and this proposed cancellation by filling out the Wiley Journal Cancellation Feedback Form between October 15th and November 15th, 2018. The form can be submitted anonymously but you can leave your name and email address if you would like the Library to respond to you.

We are especially interested to know about important titles that you recommend for continued subscription that are not present in the list of titles recommended for ongoing subscription above. 

If you have any questions about the information on this page, please contact:

Lauren Magnuson
Head of Collections, Delivery and Access


1. Interlibrary Loan requests are fulfilled for CSUSM faculty, staff, and students at no cost to the requester. However, there may be copyright clearance costs associated with articles from journals that are frequently requested. A commonly recognized guideline (the CONTU "Rule of Five") states that for periodical issues published within the last five years, up to five articles may be copied (requested/delivered from other libraries) in one calendar year. Therefore, if in a single calendar year (January-December) five articles from issues of a journal published within the past five years are requested via ILL, each subsequent article requested and received from another library via ILL will incur a copyright clearance fee. Copyright clearance fees are variable and can be between $15 and $45.  For the purposes of this analysis, a median ILL copyright clearance cost of $36 is assumed.

2. A journal embargo restricts access to content from a particular time period, especially recently published articles. Typical journal embargoes enable access to all content except for one year, though some embargoes may be longer (e.g., all content is accessible except the prior six years). Access to embargoed content is rolling, so that new issues become available over time.

3. If you encounter any problems accessing this spreadsheet or have any questions about this data, please contact Lauren Magnuson, Head of Collections, Delivery and Access, at x4332 or email lmagnuson@csusm.edu.


Provide Feedback


Lauren Magnuson
Head of Collections, Delivery and Access