Serials price projections 2016

EBSCO has released its price projections for the year ahead.

EBSCO’s annual serials price projection survey has been released.  In 2016 libraries can expect an average price increase of between 4-6%.  This will be higher for libraries in countries with weakening currencies.

The figures are based on surveys of a wide range of publishers and historical pricing trends.  The aim of the annual report is to provide budget guidance to libraries around the world.

Key findings from this year’s report:


  • Some signs of modest budget improvements in US academic libraries
  • Continued budget contraction elsewhere
  • Big deal publisher packages continue to consume high percentage of library spend

Content and usage

  • Librarians still favouring e-content
  • Librarians increasingly focusing on value for spend through usage analysis
  • This is being supported by better online usage statistics for individual publications in packages
  • Librarians are also using alternative usage metric tools to analyse the usefulness of content

Changes in the publishing landscape

  • Springer Macmillan merger created massive new publisher
  • Negative impact of Swets bankruptcy mitigated by timing for many – but not all – libraries and publishers.  Some impacted greatly and many forced to find alternative service providers
  • Publishers still preferring a ‘bundle’ approach
  • However, according to an EBSCO report, a significant proportion (25%) of publsihers acknowledge that improved metrics for librarians may lead to significant ‘unbundling’ in the future as libraries order only what they consider useful.


  • Libraries in countries with weakening currencies will be more affected by price increases.
  • This is because the US dollar and the British pound have increased in value over most other currencies.  And even though the Euro has not performed so well, many other currencies are losing value against the Euro
  • Adverse currency changes will increase serial prices.  For example, libraries paying in Australian or New Zealand dollars can expect to pay a serial price increase of approximately 30% on journals invoiced in US dollars.

 Lessons for libraries

  • Conservative budgeting is best – build in an additional 2-4% increase above these projections
  • Research the financial capability of all of your suppliers

Source: EBSCO.