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Universities may have to cancel deals with publishers if they don’t respond to current financial pressures - warn major sector bodies -

A price freeze on journal subscriptions will not be enough to avoid UK researchers losing access to key academic content, warn three major sector bodies representing academic library directors and higher education managers.

Research Libraries UK (RLUK), SCONUL, the professional association for academic and research libraries and Jisc say that immediate reductions are necessary if institutions are to retain access to content.

Universities are under heavy pressure to reduce all expenditure and divert financial resources to areas of immediate concern including online teaching and implementing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Last month, Universities UK and Jisc called on major academic publishers to seek reductions of 25% on all agreements due to the grave financial impact of the pandemic.

Jisc has asked major publishers to resubmit their budget proposals for the next academic year before mid-August. The proposals will be reviewed by a Jisc content expert group on September 10, 2020 and will be circulated for wider consultation with universities.

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